Aberdeen defender Graeme Shinnie was disappointed to be left out of the Scotland squad for the friendlies against Italy and France, but will be glad of the rest this summer.
No Dons player spent more time on the pitch than Shinnie this season, who made 45 appearances and played just under 4,000 minutes during a lengthy campaign which began in Macedonia last July in the Europa League.
Sunday’s 4-0 drubbing by Ross County was the first league match Shinnie missed all season.
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan chose to leave players from Celtic and Aberdeen out of his squad for the upcoming matches in a bid to help give Scottish clubs a better chance of progressing in Europe next season.
The Dons return to action with a Europa League first round qualifier on June 30 and Shinnie said: “I think it is a valid point.
“Gordon Strachan has said it is important teams from Scotland do well in European competitions.
“We are no different and we want to go into the Europa League looking to qualify for the group stages.
“We have more chance if players such as Kenny McLean and myself and the others can recharge the batteries and get ready to go again.
“It has been a long season, one of the longest in my career.
“I had never been involved in European games and it has been a long season, I am looking forward to the time off because I feel like I need a break. I am disappointed not to be in the Scotland squad, but happy to get the break.”
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has repeatedly spoken of his surprise Shinnie has yet to win a first cap for his country, and believes the former Caley Thistle captain is “the best left back in the country”.
Despite missing out on the chance to face Italy in Malta on May 29 and France in Metz on June 4, Shinnie remains determined to force his way into the international set up.
He added: “I am always desperate to be in the squad. I just need to keep my performances up for Aberdeen and then work harder than ever and see what happens.”