IF Scott Bain had thought making his debut for Celtic against Rangers at Ibrox after being called in as a late replacement for injured club mate Craig Gordon back in March was tough, then he will have quickly revised his opinion.

The goalkeeper earned his first cap for Scotland in the most difficult circumstances imaginable in Central America at the weekend - he came on for Jon McLaughlin at the start of the second-half in a friendly at the Azteca Stadium which hosts Mexico were dominating.

The famous stadium was packed with tens of thousands of noisy supporters who were keen to see the home team rack up a big victory in their final warm-up game on home turf before the Russia 2018 finals and he was immediately called on to produce a string of saves.

To top it all, his team were also struggling to cope with the conditions – Mexico City is over 7,000 feet above sea level and the high altitude was leaving the visitors short of breath as the game wore on.

But having worked on a building site as a labourer while he was playing for part-time Alloa and having been frozen out at Dundee at the start of the season, Bain wasn’t exactly complaining.

Winning his first cap for his country and keeping a clean sheet in the 45 minutes which he was on the park on such an incredible occasion and in such impressive surroundings has capped both an extraordinary rise to prominence and a rollercoaster season for the 26-year-old.

“I thoroughly enjoyed getting thrown on there,” he said. “It was an amazing place to play your first game for Scotland.

“You could see that Mexico were a really good side. There is a reason they are going to the World Cup. I thought the boys played really well in terms of limiting them. But as the game went on the boys got really tired because the game was played at altitude. It is a different game. It is very difficult.

“You don’t know if you can cope with it, you don’t know if you can play at the level until you are thrown in there. I am thankful to the manager that he wanted to put me on in the second-half there. He gave me an opportunity to show what I can do for Scotland.”

Bain added: “It is mad when you look back to where I started. This season especially has probably summed up my whole career. It shows you can be thrown to the side and then suddenly you are on top of the world. It has been great. The game on Saturday topped it off.

“I think I had the belief in myself that I could play at this level anyway, but it is nice to go on the pitch and do a decent enough job.”

Bain feels that worked under manager Brendan Rodgers and alongside players like Scott Brown, Mikael Lustig and Kieran Tierney on a daily basis at the Scottish champions in the past four months has changed his mindset and enabled him to cope with playing for his country.

“I’ve got a new attitude since I went to Celtic,” said Bain. “I have a new mentality which has been instilled by the manager and the players I am playing with. I enjoy the big games, I hope many more come. I will just keep going. It is a case of getting better every day.”