The commitment is typical of Kenny Miller.
Other players have pulled out of the Scotland squad for tomorrow night's friendly in Luxembourg, but even one week after the end of the MLS season, Miller remains dedicated to the national team's cause. He is not being wholly selfless, since the week's training and the game itself will help to keep his fitness levels up, but Miller tends to be unreserved in his service to Scotland.
He might, for instance, be forgiven for harbouring a sense of disillusionment after being dropped to the bench for the last two World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Belgium. It was Miller who was sacrificed for Steven Fletcher, who returned straight into the starting line-up after a period of estrangement under Craig Levein. The former Scotland manager preferred to play one up front, but Miller was at least entitled to feel disgruntled since he was the captain in the previous game, against Macedonia, and scored Scotland's goal in the 1-1 draw.
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Miller could not be affronted by being replaced, since Fletcher was on goalscoring form for Sunderland while he was struggling to settle into life at Vancouver Whitecaps after moving across the Atlantic during the summer. He was frustrated, though, and made sure that Levein was aware of his feelings. Only three players who started against Belgium – Christophe Berra, Darren Fletcher and Kris Commons – will travel to Luxembourg, with the national team set-up in flux while a successor to Levein is sought.
"It was a blow; I told Craig that," Miller said about being dropped. "I felt it was harsh. He went with Fletch. It hurt and it was disappointing, but I've always said it's not about one man. Fine I want to play, but it's not all about me. It's about the team getting the right result. Unfortunately, we didn't, so yeah, it was disappointing, but I never felt let down. I had a good relationship with Craig and he was good to me.
"It was right Fletch came back, maybe not straight into the starting line-up, but back into the fold. For me, it was disappointing because I was the one who didn't play. But no-one has any divine right to play and no-one should come away thinking they have to play or the dummy will be spat out. Maybe when you are younger, you might think like that and overreact being more of a hothead."
Miller has served too many years in the game to react out of naivety. At 32, he is beginning to consider how the final days of his career will play out, and the inclination is still to keep retirement at bay. His early experiences in the MLS have been trying, but he can at least rationalise his difficulties to moving to Canada while Vancouver were midway through their campaign and he was needing a pre-season regimen.
He intends to remain active during the coming months, and may train with a British team after returning home. There is also the option of a short loan spell beginning in January, which the likes of Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan have made use of in the past. Mostly, though, Miller is focusing on being ready for the new MLS season, which kicks off at the beginning of March, and Scotland's World Cup qualifying double header later that month, against Wales and Serbia.
"As long as I feel I still have something to offer and the manager, whoever he is, feels that as well, I'll still be up for selection," Miller said. "I never want to make that decision to chuck [international football]. It means a lot to me, playing for my country. When I'm 40, I'll still be trying to sneak in the squad. If you overreact [to being dropped], that's when the ego thing comes about: are you too big to sit on a bench for your country? That was not the case. I wanted to be part of it. As long as I feel like that, I'll continue to come away."
Miller is not an idealist, but nor does he succumb to pessimism. The striker believes that Scotland possess the quality and strength in depth to have challenged for World Cup qualification, only for a bad start to undermine those ambitions. He defends Levein, too, in the sense that the manager established a good spirit among the players and a commitment to the cause that meant the majority of players turned up for every squad. He disagrees with Neil Lennon's remark that the Scotland players need to leave their ego behind when they join up for international duty, and the new manager, when he is appointed, will be able to take advantage of the sense of unity that Levein worked so hard to forge.
"Craig had created a good working environment," Miller said. "I've not seen too many people spitting the dummy if they've not being playing because their ego is too big or they can't sit on the bench or the stand. We had a good spirit.
"We're disappointed that we've lost the manager his job. I don't want to comment on who would be best to take over. Obviously I worked with Gordon [Strachan] and he's been successful where he's been. He was always going to be one of the favourites. I just hope the SFA bring in someone who we enjoy working for and who allows the team to progress."