Willie Miller has backed Andrew Considine’s case for a Scotland call-up for the Nations League Play-off semi-final against Israel.
Injuries to John Souttar and Scott McKenna have forced national coach Steve Clarke to search for reinforcements in central defence.
Several names have been talked up as potential options, with Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes taking the chance to publicly lobby for McKenna’s club-mate, Considine.
Miller, the 65-times-capped former Dons and Scotland sweeper, agrees and argues Clarke could do a lot worse.
“This isn’t a situation where we are looking to develop the Scotland team,” he said.
“The coaches know the central defence they want for years to come. Unfortunately they are the two men lying on the treatment table.
“What you are looking for right now are guys who can be relied on to do a job, should it be required.
“I think Andy fits the bill, and I am not saying that on sentiment because I have watched him since he was a boy.
“He is 32 now, so he has a lot of experience, and he is coming off what has been another very strong season for him at club level.
“He has been Aberdeen’s Player of the Season in the past, and I would say he has got a great chance of getting the nod again for his efforts in this campaign.
“International football is different to club football, we know that. But in both cases, you are speaking about managers needing to be able to trust their players.
“I believe you could trust Andy, and I think Steve will appreciate that.
“He may want to go another way because for the first time in years, he has a good few options in central defence.
“It may be he will want to go another way, but Andy is worth a shout.
“If I was to be sentimental, I would say it would be a shame if someone who has made more than 500 appearances for Aberdeen was to finish his career without a cap.”
As a Scottish football pundit, Miller sees plenty of Premiership football, and he concedes there are other viable alternatives.
“I think Declan Gallagher has acquitted himself well, both for his club, Motherwell, and for Scotland since he got his call up,” he said.
“So I would be expecting to see him involved. If not, I think he would be entitled to go and chap the manager’s door.
“If you are looking for someone to play alongside him, Craig Halkett – a former team-mate from Livingston – would be a possibility.
“It has been a turbulent season for Hearts, which was especially tough for him as he joined from Livi last summer. But he’s settled in well and you would imagine he would be a fixture for years to come now.
“Elsewhere, Stuart Findlay of Kilmarnock might have a squeak.
“Steve knows him very well from his time managing Killie, and got him involved with Scotland quite early on in his time in charge.
“It maybe didn’t work out quite as well as he would have hoped, but he will be a player he knows he can trust and that is important.”
The Scotland Hall of Fame member also believes it would be wrong to forget the claims of Grant Hanley.
“I am not too sure about some of those mentioned who are playing south of the border. But Grant should definitely come into consideration,” he said.
“If Steve is after an experienced head for a tough situation, then Hanley would be his man.
“He has 29 caps, and is playing in the English Premier League for Norwich City every week.
“He is actually their captain, which says a lot about what they think of him.
“At 28, he knows his job and is old-fashioned in that he is an uncomplicated defender.”
Regardless who gets the call, Miller is bullish about Scotland’s prospects.
“I think this is a tremendous opportunity for the country to reach Euro 2020, I really do,” he said.
“We do not have to try to turn over the world’s best to qualify, as has often been the case in the past.
“We are two games – against teams of our own standing – away and the first match is at Hampden.
“After a lot of near misses over the years, I think this is going to be the time we get it done.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe