Scottish manager Steve Clarke hailed Andy Considine’s adaptability after the late call-up played its part in a solid defensive performance in Hampden’s 1-0 win over Slovakia.
Considine was called up on Friday after Liam Cooper sustained an injury that saw him sent home to Leeds.
The 33-year-old went on to become Scotland’s oldest rookie since Celtic goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson played in the famous 1967 Wembley win weeks before winning the European Cup.
Considine has been a constant actor for Aberdeen for several seasons and Clarke knew she had the experience to deal with his sudden introduction to international football.
Scotland’s three defenders helped ensure David Marshall only had two reasonably comfortable saves to make while Clarke’s men retained top spot in Nations League Group B2 thanks to 54th-minute winner Lyndon Dykes.
Clarke said: “(Scott) McTominay, who allegedly couldn’t play as a right central defender, was excellent again. Declan Gallagher was excellent again, and Andy Considine on his debut at 33 was not disappointed, he was really good.
“The good thing from my point of view and one of the reasons Andy jumped into my mind for the call-up was that Aberdeen played with full-back three this year and Andy played on the left side.
“So I knew he would fit in well because it’s difficult in international football. We played Thursday night, Friday and Saturday are really just recovery days and this morning at the training ground we did a lot of work in the meeting room and a little insight into possible problems and tactical issues.
“So you don’t have much to get to know your teammates. It came very late and adapted very well, but this is experience for you. I knew he could do it. “
Scotland extended their unbeaten streak to seven games with Clarke’s central three-man defense helping them keep their second clean sheet in three days.
Scotland grew in forward confidence after the goal and substitute Oli McBurnie went up against the crossbar.
“It was a good performance from start to finish,” Clarke said. “We made the system work well against a system we had never encountered before, the 4-3-3.
“It was a good solid performance in defense, we kept a good control of the game.
“We looked like a threat to the future, which was nice to see.”
Dykes took his second goal in four internationals when he struck home Stephen O’Donnell’s cross from six yards.
Clarke said: “Lyndon leads the line well, connects well with the players around him.
“We asked John McGinn to move on and Ryan Fraser was really good. We gave it a small free role and it worked very well for us, it gave us more of a threat to the future.
“So Lyndon did his part, but everyone on the pitch did well for us, even the substitutes did the job they were asked to do.”