Callum McGregor aims to help Scotland discover a “ruthless” streak which he has found is needed in the Champions League.
The Celtic midfielder has only won two caps for Scotland but feels his European experience at club level has stood him in good stead for the requirements of the international arena.
The 24-year-old is expected to start against Hungary in Budapest today after Alex McLeish signalled he would select a more experienced starting line-up than the one which featured four debutants in Friday’s 1-0 Hampden defeat by Costa Rica.
McGregor feels he falls into that category, despite his low cap count.
“I think so in terms of the level we have played at in terms of Champions League and big games like that,” he said. “It’s important that you take that experience.
“I have only got a couple of caps but I feel as if I have played at a good level for long enough now that you can come in and influence it at this level.
“I just think the Champions League level is so high. You have the best players and the best teams at the highest level. You learn quickly what the game is about in terms of counter-attacking.
“At the real top level, when teams get one chance it’s a goal and that’s you out of the tie, out of the game.
“I think it’s that ruthless side of the game that Scotland could be doing with as well. Sometimes we go into games and dominate possession-wise but we’re just not getting that goal. It’s important we try and add that to our game as well.”
McGregor was overlooked by previous manager Gordon Strachan, making his debut under Malky Mackay during the interim manager’s one game in charge against Holland in November.
But he impressed off the bench against Costa Rica with his energy and set up a good chance for Matt Ritchie.
“I’ve tried to impress and it’s another big opportunity for me to show what I can do and try to get in the team for when the competitive games come around,” he said.
Strachan had built his team around McGregor’s Celtic team-mates in 2017, when Scotland went unbeaten until November, but James Forrest and Stuart Armstrong were also on the bench on Friday with Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney and Leigh Griffiths missing through injury.
So McGregor knows he and everyone else in McLeish’s squad will need to adjust quickly.
“Pretty much the whole team was different to the team that played in the 2017 campaign,” he said. “Pretty much the whole squad was different as well.
“It’s new faces and new ideas so it’s important that the players gel and try to do it quickly.”