Celtic defender Anthony Ralston is focused on a strong end to the season with his club and believes that can thrust him back into the Scotland reckoning.
The right-back earned his first cap last year with Steve Clarke’s Scotland side but has been left out of the squad for the upcoming friendlies against Poland and Austria or Wales.
While he has his eye on further international recognition, Ralston says that being part of a winning team under Ange Postecoglou at Celtic is the key to getting back in a Scotland jersey.
“My aim is to play for my national team,” he said. “That’s something everyone strives to do.
“That’s not to be at the minute but I’ll keep my head down and keep working both in training and in the games that I play, then hope that one day I can be involved in the national team again.
“My main aim is to play for Celtic, obviously and to do my best for them and the team, then hopefully the national team will come with that in the future.”
Club football will make plenty of demands on Ralston and his Celtic team-mates as they pursue a domestic treble. Currently at the top of the Premiership, they face Rangers in their first game back after the break, then play their rivals again in the cup semi-final and in the title run-in in the weeks to come.
“We’ve got games coming up after the international break and we’ll be hoping the boys who are away all come back fit and healthy and we can kick on in the last bit of the season,” he said.
“The pressure’s never off. You hope to hold your own goals both as a team and individually and always put that pressure on ourselves to achieve everything that we want to.
“Game by game is our mentality and we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We ‘ll come back in after the internationals and take each training day as it comes, focus on the first game and then take it from there.”
After lifting the League Cup and building momentum throughout the season, the Celtic defender says the team can be optimistic as they look ahead to the season-defining games.
“We believe in ourselves,” he said. “We believe in the team and we’re in a brilliant place.
“We’ve had a great season but it is game by game and our objective is to go into each game and to do our best.
“We believe in the end that will be enough.”