Zander Clark’s attitude to Scotland camps typifies the spirit in Steve Clarke’s squad as they prepare for a game that could put them on the verge of Euro 2024 qualification.
The Hearts goalkeeper is yet to win a cap and is set to act as back-up along with Motherwell captain Liam Kelly when Scotland face Cyprus in Larnaca on Friday night.
Angus Gunn went straight into the squad and the team after Clark’s Hearts team-mate, Craig Gordon, suffered a leg break on Boxing Day last year.
The Norwich goalkeeper has started with three clean sheets in four matches in a perfect start to Scotland’s qualifying group.
Clark said: “It’s a great group of boys. The whole county is buzzing for Scotland games to come around now, there is that feelgood factor.
“It’s like being away with your mates, it’s a tight-knit group and everyone gets along well and there’s real quality in the ranks which can only be positive for us a nation going forward.”
Clark and Kelly might be eyeing a chance for a debut in next Tuesday’s 150th anniversary game against England but the former St Johnstone man is focused on training and being a good team-mate first and foremost.
“I just enjoy going into the camps, if the manager decides to play you then it’s good,” the 31-year-old said.
“Gunny has come in and done brilliantly with the clean sheets.
“As a goalkeeper you know there is always going to be one playing and two left out and then you become that support group.
“Me and Kells want Gunny to do well because when we do well as a goalkeeping group and don’t concede then you have a chance of winning the game.
“I enjoy that side of it, going away and meeting the boys and getting back into it.”
Victory for Scotland in Cyprus could lead to them qualifying next Tuesday night if other results go their way.
“We’ve put ourselves in a great place, the boys have been excellent the past few camps and to give ourselves that opportunity to go and do that is massive,” Clark said.
“We’ll prepare for it throughout the week. We know it will be a tough game out there but the manager and coaching staff will make sure we’re right at it.”