Scott McKenna was full of pride as he watched former team-mate Andy Considine make a long-awaited Scotland debut last month – but he now faces a fight with the defender for a place in the national team.
McKenna was injured and forced to sit out the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel, and the wins over Slovakia and Czech Republic but is back in the squad for the all-or-nothing clash with Serbia on Thursday.
The Nottingham Forest centre-back watched the team keep a winning run going and go through all three games without conceding a goal, leaving him with a tough task to get back into the side.
“It’s very difficult [to get back in],” he said. “When defenders are keeping clean sheets they don’t expect to get taken out of the team.
“I’m just delighted to be back involved. It was hard missing out last month with injury and watching on but I was still in the group chat with the lads and I was absolutely delighted for them all.
“I thought the performances in the three games last month were excellent. I really enjoyed watching the games. We were solid at the back and carried a threat going forward, which is almost the perfect team performance.”
Competition for a place in the back line is now fierce, with Scott McTominay having dropped back from midfield and Decland Gallagher having been in form.
Kieran Tierney is available again and McKenna’s former Aberdeen teammate Considine was solid as he picked up his first two caps.
“I couldn’t have been any happier for Andy,” McKenna said. “Obviously I played probably all my near 100 games at Aberdeen next to Andy, whether he was at left back or centre back.
“The help he gave me, even since being a kid coming through the academy at Aberdeen, he just helped me so much. I couldn’t have been any happier for him. I couldn’t wait to text him when I heard the news.
“You’ll struggle to find a better professional than Andy. He’s so regimented in everything he does and that’s probably why at the age he is, he never misses a training session and never misses any games.
“The two games he played for Scotland show exactly why everyone was campaigning for him to get that call up.
“It’s just good for both of us to be here, both trying to push everyone in the squad for a place in the starting eleven.”