Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes believes Mikey Devlin is due a change of fortune after earning a late call-up to the Scotland squad.
Devlin was called into Steve Clarke’s squad on Sunday for the European Championship double-header at Hampden against Russia and Belgium.
Former Hamilton Accies captain Devlin has endured a difficult 10 months since injuring his ankle on international duty in November last year with one niggling injury after another preventing him from a regular run of form.
McInnes said: “What looks like an innocuous injury when he was away with Scotland saw him miss the best part of three months. He was in good form going into that get-together and I know being picked for Scotland was a huge boost for him.
“He then had the cup final and then he missed out on that, playing for Scotland and also a number of key games for us. For a young boy, he has had a lot of injuries to deal with, but hopefully he will have better times ahead of him.”
Dealing with one niggling injury after another has been a challenge for Devlin, who missed more than a year of football with Hamilton due to a cruciate ligament injury but McInnes has saluted the defender’s endurance and positivity.
He said: “When they have been through it they know what is required and any set-back, physically or mentally. In any walk of life you need to find that resolve, response and that strength.
“You need to have the belief there are better days ahead of you because injuries can overcome you. It is important to have a positive mindset and having known Mikey now for a while I know he has that and that has stood him in good stead.”
Devlin made an impressive return to first-team duty as he helped his club keep a clean sheet in the 3-0 win against Ross County at Pittodrie and McInnes was full of praise for his player’s performance.
He said: “Mikey got to the pitch of the game right away. It just shows you, Mikey wasn’t getting into the team a couple of weeks ago but it just shows how you need a squad and how things could change.
“Mikey is now in charge of the jersey and he comes back in now and plays. It is great to have the quality of the likes of Mikey when you get injuries to the squad.
“He pushed himself to be back for the Rijeka game in Croatia. He did one day of training and then made himself available. Since then he has been there or thereabouts and he has also managed to put a couple of weeks training back-to-back together.
“Mikey’s training has been very good and he has been very positive and eager to play his part. We have had a few injuries and that opportunity has been there for Mikey to come back into the team.
“We know we can rely on him when he has been called upon.”