JOHN CARVER joined the Scotland group and quickly discovered that club rivalries had been left at the door.

So the Englishman had no doubt that he would settle into the squad that have now become national heroes.

Carver was brought into the fold by boss Steve Clarke in August to replace Alex Dyer as he committed his full focus to his job at Kilmarnock.

Three years after leaving Cypriot side Omonia, Carver was back in the game when he least expected it.

And the Geordie had no qualms about crossing the border to help out the Auld Enemy in their ultimately successful bid for European Championship qualification following the play-off final victory over Serbia.

Carver said: “Everyone talks about me being English. I am, I am proud to be English but I am a proud Scotsman now and when we take on England I want to be a proud Scotsman from England!

“People have to believe that. You look at Terry Butcher who was Scotland assistant manager and did a good job. So I am following someone like Terry who was England captain which is quite something.

“I am proud to be part of this set up. When Steve asked me, I couldn’t get here quick enough and to get in amongst them.

“The staff have made me feel so much part of it. Steve talked about creating a club mentality, well let me tell you this group has a club mentality. Everyone is together, you haven’t got your Rangers and your Celtic cliques, the Liverpools and the Manchester United players. Everyone is together.

“There are all these players and they are united and this is why the nation has to be untied. If we can build on this then, and I have seen the videos, celebrations back in Scotland.

"I have calls from Stevie Nicol in America, Mo Johnston in Florida, Ally McCoist, you name it. People all over the world are so pleased for Scotland, that we have qualified.

“This should happen every two years. We should qualify every two years. There is no reason why we can’t do that but we have to continue. Don’t settle for what we have done."

That win in Belgrade has earned Scotland fixtures with England, Croatia and the Czech Republic next summer.

The match against England at Wembley stands out straight away as the countdown continues to Scotland's return to a major finals. For former Newcastle boss Carver, it will be an occasion savour.

He said: "We need games like this. Serbia was huge and it will be the same when we go to Wembley.

"I have lots of English friends and England is their team. That night they will support England but any other time they have now become converted Scotland fans which is great.

"I am proud to be English and I will be a proud Scotsman because people have made me feel part of the fixtures and fittings."