Defender Russell Martin believes momentum is with Scotland in race to make it to France next summer.
Gordon Strachan’s side is within touching distance of leaders Poland and is level with world champions Germany at the midway point of the campaign as the race for the European championship finals intensifies.
Norwich central defender Martin is delighted with the start the team has made in the first five qualifiers and believes Scotland can end the 18-year wait to play at a major finals again this year.
He said: “We are where we’d want to be at this stage. We wanted to be in the mix, to be in contention to get out the group and we certainly are. The Ireland v Poland game was massive on Sunday night but we’ve done well ourselves and have got a bit of momentum going into the Dublin game in June.
“I’m not sure if Dublin will be the defining game of the campaign.
“A lot of people said that about the home match but Ireland are still in the group. I don’t know if it will be pivotal. It will be big, they all are in this group, and we will go there and be positive like we always are under the manager. Hopefully we can get a result.
“Now we are looking forward to that match as it is big chance for us.”
It is shaping up to be a huge end to the season for both club and country for the 29-year-old and some of his international team-mates who will be rivals in the English Championship in the next two months.
But Martin is relishing the high-stakes matches which lie ahead.
He said: “There are a few of us going back to our clubs to focus on the end to the season as there are a lot chasing promotion.”