ALEX McLeish believes Andy Robertson helping Liverpool to reach the Champions League final can inspire a generation of Scottish footballers to scale the same heights.

Scotland left back Robertson has been a key player for Jurgen Klopp’s side in the second half of the season and should start against Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday week.

McLeish has left the 24-year-old out of his squad for the friendlies against Peru in Lima a fortnight today and Mexico in Mexico City four days later.

But he believes the country will benefit enormously in future from what the former Queen’s Park and Dundee United player has done at Anfield.

“It’s pure role model stuff isn’t it?” he said. “Young players who are watching Andy doing this are going to keep the passion that he has got. He has the personality to inspire our young kids to want to play at the very highest level. It shows it can be done.

“We probably don’t have an individual who is at the Gareth Bale level, but we have guys in other positions that are beginning to look very tasty indeed at the highest level.”

"Malky Mackay (SFA Performance Director) and I talk about this a lot. We hope that the Tierneys, the Robertsons, the Shinnies all these boys inspire the young ones that are coming through."

Meanwhile, McLeish has expressed confident Sporting Kansas City striker Johnny Russell can make the step up from the MLS to international football.

"For that player, it’s not a problem," he said. "He’s capable of playing international football again.

"He’s capable, he holds the ball well, he knows how to pass it – and he’s been scoring goals.

"OK, you might say it’s an inferior league. But how inferior is it to some of the smaller leagues in Europe – like our own?

"Because there are a lot of top players out there in the MLS. And he’s playing to a good level. He’s desperate to play for Scotland, as well.

"We don’t have many guys who can put the ball in the net. And I like players who like to go behind defenders. We probably lack that a little bit. But Johnny Russell has that.

"There’s a wee trend now of players actually going over to the MLS younger. One or two of the Belgian guys, one who was a hero at Standard Liege when I was at Genk, went to MLS. Now he’s with LA Galaxy. Living the dream in Holywood!"