CELTIC winger James Forrest was just six years old when Scotland last played in the finals of a major tournament.
That was back in the Stade de France in the summer of 1998 when Craig Brown’s team played Brazil in the opening game of the French World Cup Finals.
An unfortunate own goal from Hoops legend Tom Boyd gave the South Americans a late 2-1 win after his Parkhead team-mate John Collins had struck an equaliser via the penalty spot.
Scotland drew 1-1 with Norway in the next game with Craig Burley scoring and were then hammered 3-0 by Morocco to topple out of the competition.
Since then, the Scots have been in an international wasteland, racking up failure after failure.
So, Forrest, one of a quartet of Celts including Craig Gordon, Scott Brown and Leigh Griffths, is hoping to help his nation on the road to recovery when they face England in the crucial World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Friday.
The rejuvenated Bhoys ace said: “When you come away with Scotland you want all the boys to come into the squad with confidence. If all the boys are feeling confident it will benefit everyone here.
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“Winning and doing well with Celtic will help.Playing European football also helps. Playing in the Champions League and for Scotland in qualifiers, it gives you experience going up against top players.
“You are only going to benefit from playing against these players and teams.
“It was a surprise when Scott came out of international retirement, but you know what he’s like.
“He’s been top drawer with Celtic this season and I think he is feeling really good. I think all the boys are buzzing he’s back.”
Forrest played against the English at Wembley three years ago in a friendly when the Scots lost 3-2 to a winning goal from Rickie Lambert after James Morrison and Kenny Miller had netted two excellent strikes against Joe Hart.
He added: “I thought we did well. We were 2-1 up at one point.
“Obviously it was a friendly, but it’s never really a friendly when you play England. On the day, we were gutted we lost, but we can take confidence from that performance going in to Friday.
“It was massive. In front of a sell-out at Wembley, that’s what you want to do. You want to play in the big games and they don’t get much bigger than England against Scotland.”