IT might sound like a cliché, but it cannot be emphasised enough how important the team spirit and camaraderie behind the scenes is for Scotland. It’s absolutely massive.

It was a huge focus for us when I was manager. We didn’t have the wonderful, great players who would win games as individuals, we had to do it as a group.

Somebody asked me when I left the Scotland job whether I would go back into management, and I said ‘only if I could take this lot with me’. Because they were that good.

We set the standards. There was no alcohol, not even for the staff, wherever we went. You don’t have to have alcohol to be happy, you need results and good people. There is no room for it in professional football. It didn’t go down well with the staff, mind you, but I just felt we had to do everything possible to make sure they were disciplined.

They were great lads. Andy Robertson, guys like Robert Snodgrass, wonderful people.

Scotland have got that going, and team spirit and camaraderie builds every time you get a result and a performance.

It’s not golf days, it’s not go-karts, it’s not having a drink with the lads. It’s that moment when you see them celebrating on the pitch together over in Serbia when they qualified. That’s what builds a bond.

A good performance and a good result against The Netherlands on Wednesday has just added that little extra bit again to the feel-good factor.

Every time you don’t get beat, every time somebody like Kevin Nisbet scores his first goal, every time something like that happens, it just adds that little bit to the squad.

When you get up in the morning and the squad feel good about themselves, it just adds to what the boys are already bringing to the table.

They’re getting to the stage now where they are going to this tournament and they are believing wholeheartedly that they can qualify from this group. Definitely.

The secret of success is having good players and good people round about you, and that is what they are; good people.

The togetherness has definitely improved since I was in Scotland squads years ago. There are connections with everybody.

When I was manager we had good captains like Darren Fletcher and Scott Brown, and that has continued with Andy.

It almost didn’t matter that we had so many players missing against the Dutch. We have such depth now, in midfield especially, while Che Adams and Nisbet have added to the armoury, there’s no doubt about that. It’s all added to what the boys have created over the past year or so.

The relationship between Kieran Tierney and Andy on the left continues to grow too. It’s not a problem for good players, they understand things no problem at all.

I remember saying something once to Andy at training and he picked it up right away. Just the once, bang, and it was done. That’s a gift these two have got.

Kieran has the ability to spot a gap. It’s almost like watching someone in American football picking up the ball and driving into the space. He can spot the gap, and as soon as Andy sees that, he can assess whether to take a step back or go with him.

You saw the other night, there are times when they can both go forward, because if they lose it they both have the ability to recover very, very quickly.

The both of them have got the intelligence to know when they have to be a centre-back, when they have to be a full-back and when they can be a wing-back. Or even a winger!

These boys just look so confident just now, and when you are confident, you feel you can run like the wind. When you’re not like that, you feel like you’re running in treacle.

Tierney and Robertson feel like they can take on anybody right now. Take their natural ability and add their pace and power and confidence, then you have a fantastic package there. And the rest of the lads are going along with them.

We’ve got guys now who are feeling very good about themselves because they are doing well every week in the English Premier League. So, when it comes to playing England, there will be no inferiority complex. They are playing against these guys every week and playing very well against them.

All these wee things add to the camp. When you have people who are used to handling big games, rather than players maybe mostly from The Championship or the Scottish Premiership as we had for a wee while, then they know how to deal with the pressure, the stress that comes with these occasions.

The time that Steve is getting with the players just now is priceless too. I always thought that we needed all the time we could get on the training pitch, because we weren’t the most gifted.

We had to work harder than most international teams, and the boys had to buy into that by putting the hours in. If I felt that people weren’t happy with putting those hours in, then they wouldn’t be invited along again.

It all bodes well, and a decent result and performance against Luxembourg tomorrow night will keep that ball rolling right into the tournament proper.

I think if we win against the Czech Republic, we will qualify for the knockout stages. They are a big strong team, and it won’t be easy, but if Scotland can win that then the momentum builds again.

By the time they get to playing England at Wembley, that will all have added to that feel-good factor again, and then who knows?

Maybe I’m getting carried away now too. But Scotland are always better when they are a collective. If Steve can keep the spirit growing between the players, then that will give Scotland a great chance of going into the next stage.