ANDREW ROBERTSON insists he is up for the fight with Kieran Tierney – for both the Scotland left-back berth and the captain’s armband.
The Liverpool defender is relishing the clean slate offered at international level by new manager Alex McLeish, but is unsure what that will mean for him and Celtic defender Tierney.
McLeish has already said he does not see Tierney as a right-back after the 20-year-old was fielded on the opposite side of the defence by Gordon Strachan during the failed World Cup campaign.
The Celtic left-back was then chosen at centre-back by stand-in boss Malky Mackay against the Netherlands in November.
And Robertson believes the pair worked well in tandem on the left side of a back five in the 2-2 draw with England last summer when Tierney played left centre-half.
But, with Tierney having been ruled out of the friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary with injury, it remains to be seen what McLeish’s long-term plans are to ensure he gets the best out of his two star players.
“We probably would have talked about it if he had shown up!” smiled Robertson. “But unfortunately he’s had to pull out.
“We’re not quite sure how the manager will set up. There’s been a lot of talk but, ultimately, that’s up to him.
“I’m sure he’ll adapt to different games and different situations.
“But if we have to fight for one spot then I’m sure we’ll both be up for that fight, and whoever the manager picks we’ll have to respect that.
“If he is going to try to get both of us in the team then one of us will have to adapt, because we both can’t stand on each others’ toes, that’s for sure!
“KT has been brilliant. He had to adapt to playing right-back in the campaign, but against England we played five at the back and we worked down the left-hand side together and I thought it worked quite well.
“But that was under the old manager and now the new manager will have some new ideas and we’ll look forward to seeing what they are.”
Both Robertson and Tierney are also viewed as possible replacements for Scott Brown as captain of the national team, with the Celtic defender having taken the armband against the Dutch at Pittodrie.
Robertson has been described by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as the ‘smart choice’ for skipper, whilst McLeish has branded him a ‘captain by example’.
But the 24-year-old former Dundee United defender reckons there are plenty of other possible candidates for the big responsibility of following in Brown’s footsteps.
He added to Sky Sports: “If you ask any of the boys ‘would you like to be Scotland captain’, then I don’t think anyone would turn their noses up at it.
“Maybe the press have just thought of having another chance of making it me against KT, but there are plenty of candidates in there.
“I’ve been in the squad with the experienced lads and there are a lot of leaders in there. Even when Broony was here there was more than just one leader.
“But he was a fantastic captain for a number of years and we were very lucky. He led by example and did a terrific job.
“So, I think whoever gets it will have big boots to fill.”