THERE was a sudden burst of applause around the Scotland team hotel at tea-time on Tuesday. The remainder of the squad were just sitting down to dinner when they clocked Andy Robertson checking in. Part glowing with pride, part mortified, this humble 25-year-old quietly found a seat.

While the impromptu guard of honour put an end to any hopes the nation’s first European Cup winner for 22 years might have had of sneaking quietly into the camp with a minimum of fuss, in retrospect it was a moment the full back cherished as much as the rapturous reception he got from a football-daft city as Liverpool’s Champions League heroes conducted an open top bus tour on Monday.

“I walked in just as dinner was starting and all the staff and players clapped me in, which was nice,” said Robertson. “You could tell they were all genuinely delighted for me and it was a nice feeling. Because if it gives them a good feeling as well, then that’s nice.

“It doesn’t take anything extra to know you have done something good but it was an added thing, maybe just as I was having a small come down from the weekend I’d had. That sort of picked me back up again.”

Not that this young man is the sort to milk his achievements. “I definitely didn’t lap it up,” he said. “I was just trying to find a spare seat as quickly as I could!

“I’m not a person who wants to be the centre of attention or anything like that,” Robertson added. “But it was nice from all the lads and the staff. I appreciated it, but I couldn’t wait to just sit down and have my dinner.”

Robertson left a demoralised group after an underwhelming victory out in San Marino - with fans baying against the SFA - but don’t underestimate the hunger in this group of Scotland players. The captain can hardly fail to notice the different dynamic at play here and it isn’t all down to his exploits out in Madrid. Steve Clarke, and the meticulous organisation of his training sessions, demands a fair amount of the credit for that. But ultimately, as Robertson knows, it all comes down to the players.

“I’ve only been here a couple of days but it does feel different,” said Robertson. “It feels more positive. That comes from the manager and the staff - they have been different class since they came in.

“But it’s now time for us to try and show it,” he added. “That’s what the manager wants, too. It’s all very well doing it behind the scenes but Saturday and Tuesday are about trying to show it on the pitch. We know how tough those two games are going to be. But although it has only been a short space of time, we feel we have made progress over this week. It will only get better.”

Give the new gaffer six games and everyone will be in a better place to judge. “The San Marino game was a horrible atmosphere to play in,” said Robertson. “But for the lads, it was all about trying to get through that and get the win. It wasn’t the best performance. But I think it is easier when you play at the top to deal with that kind of pressure. Myself and the Celtic lads play in front of a massive fan base and stuff like that, but some of the lads maybe struggled. That’s only natural.

“It’s all about us trying to get the fans back, but the only way that’s going to happen is through performances,” he added. “I feel we can maybe be judged over the next six games but we all want to get off to a good start. And the manager certainly does in his Scotland career. I don’t feel under any more pressure than the other lads. We are all desperate to get Scotland to major tournaments - that’s a pressure we have to deal with.

“The relationship between me and the gaffer has been good so far and I hope it will only get stronger. It’s different when you only see each other every couple of months, but we spoke on the phone a couple of times before I met up so I have kept in touch. Relationships need to be strong and it’s important we build them.”