ROBERT Snodgrass last night pipped Ikechi Anya, Scott Brown and Steven Naismith to the Scottish Football Writers' Assocation Scotland International Player of the Year award then set his sights on beating England when they visit Glasgow in November.
The 26-year-old Norwich City winger, who collects his award next Sunday at the Thistle Hotel in the city, is still troubled by the memory of the two avoidable late goals which cost Scotland a famous Wembley triumph back in August and feels Gordon Strachan's side are capable of making amends on November 18 at Celtic Park.
"I'm delighted about that [playing England]," Snodgrass said. "Honestly, bring it on. I loved the Wembley experience, but we should never have lost that game. We prepared for it as though it was a competitive qualifier. We played very well and took the game to them. We came so close. To lose two goals to set-pieces was bitterly disappointing and the manager and his coaching staff were all very disappointed. It was very frustrating for all of us.
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"Now is the chance for us to make amends. England have world-class players, but we should have beaten them. We can get the right result this time. It would be great to play in a Scotland side that defeated England. That could be another box ticked off for me."
It might not make his task on the night any easier, but there is one man in particular Snodgrass could come up against in November. He rates Liverpool's Steven Gerrard the toughest opponent he has faced in the Barclays Premier League this year, and hopes Gerrard prolongs his international career beyond the World Cup.
"Everyone talks about Suarez and Aguero and Hazard, but Gerrard is the one for me," Snodgrass said. "He is a master of football. He plays games to his tempo and only a handful of footballers have the quality to do that. I hope he is playing [for England] next season."
Before then, of course, comes the start of the serious business of trying to qualify for the expanded European Championship finals to be held in France in 2016. Scotland's first assignment is a daunting one against Germany in Borussia Dortmund's Westfalenstadion in September, but belief is clearly growing. "We face some tough games, no doubt," Snodgrass said. "But we can win more than our fair share. We will be able to compete with Germany, but we know we have to win the games against Poland and Republic of Ireland. We have the belief we can do very well because we have plenty attacking options and feel we can break teams down. We are also keeping clean sheets. It's about producing that extra bit of quality when it matters, but I think we have in it us to go all the way and qualify."
For now, though, the former Livingston player has some serious club matters to attend to. Norwich find themselves mired in relegation trouble, and their next assignment, at title-chasing Chelsea today, doesn't exactly represent an easy three points.
"I relish going to places such as Stamford Bridge," Snodgrass said. "For me, it means all the hard work over the past decade has paid off. But I will not rest. I will strive to keep improving.
"Since I've been in England I feel that lots of people are always asking if I can handle it but I believe I've been consistent at Leeds and then moving up a level to Norwich. I'm joint top scorer at our club with eight goals and it's been so pleasing to better last season's tally. That's not all down to good luck - it's more to do with hard work, determination and willingness to learn.
"But we are in a relegation dogfight and we may only get a couple of chances. We need to be lethal in front of goal. It's about showing moments of quality, showing we deserve to stay in the Premiership. The form book will suggest otherwise, but I believe we can win the game and then kick on and beat Arsenal next week. Two wins should keep us up."
Should Snodgrass be unable to achieve that, he is unlikely to be short of offers. While Neil Lennon could be heading in the opposite direction, the boyhood Celtic fan has been linked with a move to Parkhead and insisted there was appeal in gracing the Champions League.
"Being down here, every game is like a Champions League occasion," he said. "But I'd love to play in the Champions League. I've been to a few games at Celtic Park and the atmosphere has been incredible. Still, if it doesn't happen for me, it doesn't happen. I won't lose any sleep over it."