Ok, hear me out. Yes, Anthony Ralston made a monumental blunder against Switzerland, one that could have ultimately cost Scotland their place at these European Championships. No one will know that better than him.

After his stray pass landed at the feet of Xherdan Shaqiri, of all people, and was majestically wafted beyond Angus Gunn into the top corner, the Celtic full-back looked as if he would rather have been anywhere else in the world than representing his country on such a stage. Until the interval, he looked shellshocked.

There is a scene in the baseball movie ‘Moneyball’, where former pitcher Scotty Hatteberg – who the Oakland Raiders are struggling to convert to play at first base – is asked by teammate David Justice what his biggest fear is.

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“A baseball being hit in my general direction,” comes Hatteburg’s reply. The players share a brief laugh, before Hatteburg adds the kicker, “No, seriously.”

During the interval in Cologne, I couldn’t help but wonder if a similar scene was playing out in the Scotland dressing room, but when Ralston emerged after the break, he showed that he wasn’t going to allow such fears to conquer him.

Instead, he puffed out that barrel chest, refused to retreat into his shell, and displayed admirable courage to put in a much-improved display, even getting forward to good effect at times.

Is he Aaron Hickey? No. Is he even Nathan Patterson? No. He may be third choice in that area for Scotland, and technically limited in comparison to that injured duo, but he is a good honest professional who is doing his utmost to represent both himself and his country to the best of his ability.

And don’t forget, he has hardly played this season, making just eight starts for Celtic across the campaign due to the form of Alistair Johnston. He is playing in an unfamiliar wing-back role, when he is accustomed to playing as an orthodox full back in a flat four.

None of this excuses his cock-up, the likes of which players at this level simply should not be making. But he is human, and after the torrid time the Germans gave him (but not solely him) on Friday evening, lesser characters would simply have folded once they had cost their side a goal in such a manner.

Ralston didn’t, and it is to his great credit that he put on such an improved display in the second 45 minutes.

It seems we must always have a scapegoat. Usually, it’s the unfashionable players within the squad. At the last European Championships, for example, it was Stephen O’Donnell who got it in the neck after the defeat to the Czech Republic.

It must be a horrible place to be, but Ralston followed O’Donnell’s example by bouncing back, and it was telling that Scotland captain Andy Robertson made special mention of Ralston’s fortitude and level of second half performance in his post-match interview.

All that being said, there is a decision for Scotland manager Steve Clarke to make in that position for the game against Hungary on Sunday. Not because of Ralston’s error, but because of Scotland’s need to win the match.

Clarke isn’t exactly renowned for going gung-ho, but he may consider playing Ralston’s Celtic teammate James Forrest in the right wing-back role to give more of an attacking threat down that side of the pitch.

Much of Scotland’s build-up against Switzerland centred upon Billy Gilmour receiving the ball deep and feeding it to the flanks, and as some pundits have picked up on, Ralston’s preference for the most part when receiving the ball was to then close his body and come inside.

Forrest likes to do that too, but he also has the ability to take the ball on the outside, and is far more comfortable in possession. What you would lose in a defensive sense may be worth what he brings going the other way when Scotland simply have to take the game to the Hungarians.

There may even be a change of system. With Kieran Tierney sadly out - the man who this 3-4-3 was designed to accommodate - there may be a place for both Ralston and Forrest within a 4-2-3-1, or similar.

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These are decisions for another day. When Ralston woke up this morning – if he slept at all last night – he would probably still be beating himself up. Many on social media continue to do it for him. But the man who is dubbed ‘The Brickie’ has shown that he is made of solid stuff. He can hold his head high.

If Clarke does decide to stick with Ralston in a monumental, potentially historic game for Scotland on Sunday, then I’m betting he won’t let himself - or his country - down.