Mark Reynolds has pledged never to turn his back on Scotland despite a three-year wait for his international debut.
The Aberdeen defender was first called up in May 2014 but has yet to win his first cap.
Reynolds is part of Gordon Strachan’s squad for Saturday’s vital World Cup qualifier against England. Again, he is not expected to feature. He insisted he will remain patient because simply being named in a Scotland squad is an honour any supporter would relish.
“If you said to any fan they would give their left leg to come and be involved in the Scotland squad. I’m no different,” said Reynolds. “It’s great to be here and be involved, but the ultimate aim is obviously to go and play, get that cap and be involved. To get that recognition domestically is great. So I’ll keep pushing and hopefully that cap will come sooner rather than later.”
Other players with less commitment to the cause might be tempted to look at booking a holiday after being overlooked, however Reynolds stressed he will never pull ranks on his country. “It’s never been an option for me or many of the players,” he continued.
“We’ve been lucky. If you look back at the squads there’s not really been anybody pulled out for when the games are. Boys come here even with niggling injuries. Kieran Tierney is here with his mouth injury and he’s said it’s sorted and he wants to play. That’s the kind of attitude we have running through the team.
“The manager has said before he needs 20-odd boys to push for a place. That’s what makes the squad as strong as it is. It’s much the same for everyone: Just keep doing what you’re doing with your team, do well in training. The manager has the big plan and he sees it from all angles.
“Everyone here has ultimate faith in him. He’s shown he knows what he’s doing in the campaigns. It’s about sticking by him and buying into that bigger picture. He needs players to give 100 per cent and be there if needed. It’s just a case of waiting to see.”
Russell Martin, Charlie Mulgrew and Christophe Berra are ahead of Reynolds in the central-defensive pecking order. The Pittodrie player is happy to be involved, though.
“People are saying if you don’t get a call up you are not getting recognition, and if you get called up and don’t play it’s the same. Where do you draw a line? As a player, given the players we have, being called up is recognition itself.”