Jackie McNamara claims no one who has watched Dundee United this season will be shocked to see Andy Robertson in the Scotland squad.
The 19-year-old flying full-back has been tormenting teams all season with his pace, delivery and goals since joining from Queen’s Park in the summer and was rewarded with a call-up for the Scots’ friendly in Poland next month.
While the Tannadice club were taking nothing for granted in the lead-up to national coach Gordon Strachan’s announcement in Paisley, they were quietly optimistic that their man’s name would be on the list.
And Tangerines’ manager McNamara has insisted that Robertson, who less than a year ago was working at Hampden handing out programmes and team sheets to spectators, deserves the recognition.
“This is brilliant news for him and for the club,” said McNamara.
“Andy is still a teenager but he has already been through a lot in his career and deserves to be where he is now.
“It is great credit to him and his family that he has gone from being told by Celtic that they didn’t want him, on to amateur football with Queen’s Park, signed for us and now he is in Scotland squad.
“That speaks volumes for the progress he has continued to make. I would challenge anyone who has watched us play this season to be surprised by this.
“It is not a great shock because of how he has been performing week in, week out.
“So we are all really happy for him, even though there has been a bit of banter and stick for him from the other boys at training just as you would expect!”
As well as Robertson’s call-up, Scotland welcomed back their captain Darren Fletcher after the midfielder took another major step forward in his battle against illness.
The Manchester United man was also named in Strachan’s squad for March 5 friendly.
In a huge boost for both player and country, Fletcher has returned to the international fold after fighting so courageously against ulcerative colitis.
Fletcher last played for the Scots in a 2-1 friendly win in Luxembourg back in November 2012 but has been featuring regularly for the Old Trafford side in the English Premier League for the last three months.
An obviously delighted Strachan said: “It was wonderful over the Christmas period to see Darren back playing football.
“We have got to take it a stage further. I have seen him playing and he has lost none of his enthusiasm, which he will never lose.
“To have him back in the squad is terrific.”