Tartan Army foot soldier Liam Gordon has hailed Scotland’s Euro heroes.
And the St Johnstone defender reckons ending the long wait to reach the finals of a major championship will provide a massive boost on the home front.
Gordon (24), whose immediate priority is beating Peterhead to advance to the last 16 of the Betfred Cup, was cheering on from the sofa as Steve Clarke’s spot-kick specialists saw-off Serbia.
And he was thrilled to see Motherwell pair Declan Gallagher (29) and Steven O’Donnell (28) in starring roles alongside big-name players from south of the border.
“It definitely gives everyone a lift,” admitted Gordon, who has watched one-time Celtic youth Gallagher claim Scotland honours after spells with Clyde, Dundee and Livingston before joining the Fir Park club last summer.
“We have said for years we have had a good Scotland team,” he said.
“It just shows you that out of the back five against Serbia two are playing for Motherwell.
What a night 😂😂😂😂
— Declan Gallagher (@declang31) November 13, 2020
“They are a good club but you are comparing them to players from Liverpool, Arsenal and Man United.
“It just shows you the Scottish game is in a good place right now.
“I think Gallagher has been outstanding for us. I have played against him many a time and it is really good to see him doing so well.
“He is a great example for guys like myself. It shows that hard work and determination can go a long way.
“He is somewhere I am striving to be.”
Gordon missed out on youth level call-ups.
But he admits Gallagher’s impact on the international stage will spur on fellow Premiership players.
“I was close to international squads when I was younger,” said the one-time Hearts kid.
“But it was never a thing I dwelled on. I just focused on progressing at club level to make my way in the game.
“But everyone wants to play for their country, I’m not going to deny that. Never say never.”
Gordon is part of a Perth backline which has notched three clean sheets on the spin, including the midweek 0-0 Betfred Cup 0-0 draw which saw Tayside rivals Dundee United claim a shoot-out bonus point.
“I went to shake hands right after the game and forgot about the penalties,” he confessed.
“That was a shock to me.
“After the game we were doing the arithmetic and wondering if it was a win, a draw or whatever that we needed against Peterhead.
“But regardless of a draw being enough, we are still going there for the three points.
“We are well aware of the task ahead to get through to the knock-out phase.
“It’s in our hands with one game to go. You would take that at the start of the group. You are always going to back yourself.”
Gordon was farmed out to Peterhead three years ago and signed-off in a 5-1 League One play-off loss to Forfar.
But he admits a dozen games under Blue Toon boss Jim McInally helped him progress at McDiarmid.
“Peterhead were struggling at the wrong end of the table and I was having problems with my knee at the time,” he recalled.
“I was playing through a wee bit of discomfort.
“It wasn’t ideal. But I have nothing but good to say about Peterhead. It was a really well-run club with a lot of really nice people.
“It will be nice to go back up and see a few familiar faces.
“At the time of the loan I had a taste of first team football and had done quite well.
“I had played for Saints at Aberdeen and Jim McInally was commenting at that game.
“He later said he was desperate to try and get me. I was kind of in and out at Saints and at that age I just wanted to go and play football.
“It was frustrating in the sense that we were at the wrong end of the table.
“But it was a good learning experience.
“Jim is a man who had a really good career. He played at a very good level.
“It was great having someone like him pass his knowledge onto me. He helped me massively.
“A lot of the players have moved on but there are a few of the lads still there, like Scott Brown who was here at St Johnstone, and Simon Ferry is their captain.”
Saints have never played a competitive match at Balmoor – and Gordon has warned his teammates it won’t be easy.
“It will be a tough game,” he cautioned.
“But it is a big pitch and we can use that to our advantage.
“It was always very well looked after when I was there. The groundsman did a great job.
“He was with one of the golf courses I think and it was a brilliant standard for that level. Hopefully it is still the same.
“There has been a lot of heavy rain but it is near the sea and drains well. So hopefully it is a decent surface for us to get down and play.”