CHARLIE ADAM has no expectation of being in Scotland squads these days.
But the Stoke City star insists he will never give up hope of an international return.
Adam has not been picked by national boss Gordon Strachan in almost two years, despite his status as a Premier League regular with the Potters.
The frustrated star has been vocal on the subject, insisting he has been frozen out without explanation.
As a result, he isn’t holding his breath in anticipation of being involved in the upcoming clashes with Canada and Slovenia.
But if the call does come, the former Rangers man will relish pulling on a Dark Blue jersey once again.
“For as long as I’m still playing, I’ll always hope to be involved in the national team,” said Adam.
“Playing for Scotland was always huge for me, a massive honour.
“For whatever reason I haven’t really been involved over the last few years. That has been a disappointment.
“But I’ll never turn my back on it. I’m always available for selection.
“I’ve just played something like 15 games in a row for Stoke City and I feel I’ve been playing well enough.
“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t wondered whether I’ve got a chance for these two games.
“But it’s more out of hope than expectation at this stage.”
Scotland’s chances of qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Russia are dangling by a thread after a poor start to the campaign.
Adam is as disappointed as any fan of the national team – and he is undoubtedly one of those.
But he does not shy away from the harsh reality of the situation.
“The Slovenia game is massive,” he said. “If we don’t get three points, we don’t qualify. It’s as simple as that.
“There is so much riding on it because getting to a major tournament is something everybody in Scotland is desperate for.
“I’m lucky enough to have played for my country, but before that I was a fan. I still am now.
“It’s a dream of mine to play for Scotland at a World Cup or a European Championships.
“I’ll never give up on that as long as I’m still playing.
“But even if I’m not involved when it happens, I’ll be there with the Tartan Army, cheering the boys on.”
Fans of Adam’s first club, Rangers, will be cheering their side on at Celtic Park today – and in pubs and living rooms up and down the country.
Charlie will be watching too.
But the 31-year-old reckons new Gers boss Pedro Caixinha should be playing a more active role.
Adam said: “You try to be optimistic as somebody with Rangers connections, but Celtic are just so strong.
“You’re looking for wee things, wee areas that could give you a mental edge.
“For me, the new manager could give them one by being there on the touchline at Celtic Park.
“The suggestion is that he will be in the directors box, but I’d sooner he was in the dug-out.
“He should be there, straight in at the deep end, making a statement – ‘I’m the Rangers manager.’
“I’d certainly like to see him there, making his presence felt immediately.
“There will be plenty about the club he will know nothing of at this stage, plenty for him to learn and get his head around.
“But he’ll do that quickly enough, then it’s about getting through to the summer, making sure Rangers finish as high up the league as they can, then bringing in his own people and imposing himself properly.”
Adam has his own plans for this summer – enjoying a break after extending his current deal at Stoke City.
The midfield ace still has 18 months remaining with the Potters, but he is keen to commit himself long-term.
“I’m looking to extend as soon as possible,” he said. “This is a terrific club and I’ve had a great few years here.
“It’s constantly evolving, with better and better players being brought in all the time.
“That can make it harder to get a game, right enough, but I enjoy that sort of challenge.”