Aberdeen received a big lift on the eve of one of their biggest games of the season tonight when Scott McKenna, Ryan Christie and Kenny McLean were called into the Scotland squad for the friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary next week.
The trio will join their national team-mates for their first game under new manager Alex McLeish next week.
Dons boss Derek McInnes is delighted McLean has been rewarded following his display in the friendly defeat against the Netherlands at Pittodrie in November and for the consistency he has shown at club level.
He said: “I think Kenny did particularly well against Holland. I also heard he trained very well that week as well and it is not just about the minutes that he got on the pitch.
“I think his form has been very good for us and he has his future sorted out for next season and beyond.
“That had added some more settled and mature performances from him.
“He has a huge influence on the Aberdeen team and international football will only help him to develop his own game. He has more than earned his call-up.”
McInnes believes McKenna’s meteoric rise from youth team player to potential Scotland international in six months is also richly deserved following his displays for the Dons.
He said: “We are delighted he is in it and he won’t let anyone down. It shows how quickly it can go for a player, especially a younger player who is out of the team and then you get a run in the team and then you just get better and better.
“He has played with a real confidence and it shows how quickly you can get yourself noticed.
“His performances have got him into the squad which is fantastic for Scott and fantastic for Alex to have a look at him.
“I am sure for however long he plays I am sure he will impress Alex the way he has impressed everybody.”
The inclusion of Christie capped a day of good news for the Dons and they will try to create some more positivity of their own by beating Kilmarnock in their Scottish Cup quarter-final replay at Rugby Park tonight.
The Dons boss said: “There is still a lot to play for in the league but I would say the perception from having a good season or a very good season is normally demonstrated through the cups.
“This could be our sixth semi-final in five years if we could get through.
“It gives us momentum as a club and we could all be doing with that at the minute, that feelgood factor that comes with winning games.”