Barry Bannan has declared himself ready if called upon to play in Scotland’s depleted midfield.
The Scots go into the must-win match against Slovakia at Hampden tomorrow night without skipper Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong and Matt Ritchie.
Brown and Armstrong would have been definite starters if fit, while Ritchie has been bang in form for Newcastle in the English Premier League and could easily have been picked by boss Gordon Strachan.
The national coach, though, will now have to look elsewhere and Sheffield Wednesday playmaker Bannan is hoping he glances his way.
Bannan said: “We’ve lost Scott and Stuart but the good thing about this squad is that midfield is the strongest department.
“There are loads of players capable of going out there and doing a job for their country.
“With those two dropping out, everyone else is looking to get into the starting 11 and I’m one of them.
“I will try my best to impress the manager this week and, if called upon, I will be ready.
“Whenever you come away with Scotland, if you train well every day you have a chance of getting into the starting team.
“The gaffer wants you to be training well all the time and if you do that it gets noticed.
“The boys who have dropped out have been in great form, so sometimes you can’t do anything about it.
“If people are ahead of you and playing well, you just have to hold your hands up and accept it.
“You just have to keep going until it’s your chance.
“That’s what’s happened now.
“It’s unfortunate for the injured lads but it gives other players, who have not been involved for a while, a chance.”
Bannan stressed that he will take it in his stride if selected for such an important fixture.
“These are the games you want to be involved in when you are growing up as a kid,” he said.
“You look forward to them.
“People always ask me if I get nervous before big games but I have never felt nervous going into any game.
“I just look forward to going out and enjoying it.
“It is a match which has that added bit added to it because we want to get into the play-offs but this is why you are in football.
“You want to play with pressure on you.”
Talking about pressure, there will be plenty on Strachan if the Scots fail to qualify yet again.
However, Bannan is backing his boss.
He said: “I can’t speak highly enough of the gaffer.
“If you speak to anyone in the squad they will tell you he’s a brilliant coach who is very hands-on in training.
“I think if you look at it, he has actually improved us as a squad.
“We have been unlucky in the games we have lost. For example, the England game down there saw us start well and create chances.
“He has been brilliant since I have been here.”