I TOTALLY understood the frustration displayed by Gordon Strachan last night.
The television cameras zoomed in on him when Harry Kane’s injury-time equaliser went in, and we all shared his feelings of dejection and disbelief.
But we Scots have been through such agony many times before, and we should know never to take anything for granted.
We should be sitting this morning, celebrating an outstanding victory, achieved by two magnificent goals from Leigh Griffiths.
The reality is, however, we are not.
We conceded two goals that could have been prevented. Craig Gordon won’t need anyone to tell him. He is an honest big fella and he will know. But he will bounce back and continue to be the country’s No.1 keeper.
Our prospects of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia may now be as good as over, but we must take heart from the performance from the players.
They showed they are right behind Gordon Strachan and I hope the Wee Man stays in the job.
I have said many times I think he is the right man and he has moved us forward.
I’m not going to change my mind now.
But we just need to be more street-wise and not concede late goals.
It’s happened a few times in the past and we need to eradicate mistakes. That will come from experience and education.
However, that will not heal the hurt we are feeling this morning. And it will last most of the summer.
Scotland started the game well and managed to get plenty of possession. They just couldn’t force Joe Hart into making any saves.
At the other end, Kane had two good chances and was thwarted by Kieran Tierney and Gordon.
Overall, the performance in the first 45 minutes was encouraging enough. But there was a feeling that Griffiths had too much work to do on his own.
He worked hard and never gave Gary Cahill or Chris Smalling a minute’s peace. He was in need of more support and that would have been something the Wee Man would have spoken to the players about during the interval.
He brought on Chris Martin with 10 minutes to go and that helped Griffiths. He then produced the energy, bravery and expertise to score both free-kicks.
They were finishes any player in the world would have been proud of.
I only wish they were the two goals to help as get three vital points on the board. But we will live to fight another day. Never rule us out.
There are four more games to play in the campaign, and it’s vital to pick up as many points as possible.
The next time the players will wear the international jersey will be away to Lithuania at the start of September, and then at home to Malta three days later.
The players will now head off on their summer break, and we may well see some new faces in the squad when the campaign resumes.
The bulk will remain the same and I wouldn’t anticipate wholesale changes.
There always has to be room for one or two to push through from the Under-21 set-up, and there could be one or two who emerge onto the scene if they have bright starts for their clubs in the early part of the new season.
But what we do know, regardless of who is in and who is out, there will be a passion and a commitment to get the country to a major Finals.
We all know it was 1998 since we participated at a World Cup and that just isn’t good enough.
We have been close once or twice to getting to a Finals and we just need to learn how to make that final, but all important, last step.
It’s important we retain our optimism and our belief that we aren’t far off from making it.
We also know that we have a fantastic set of supporters behind the team, and the Tartan Army always carry the capability of being the country’s 12th man.
I know that may come across as an old cliche, but it is true, believe me. Never underestimate the importance of the supporters.
Now everyone will head off for a well-deserved break.
It’s been a long campaign, particularly for the Celtic players.
In terms of club football, the European qualifiers will start for some clubs before this month is out, and we need to hope that they do well and progress.
We need both our national team and clubs performing as often as possible on the highest available stage. I wish them all well.