Some Rangers supporters have been highly critical of the Scottish Football Association, and even the Scotland team, since the club was hit with a transfer embargo by the governing body and placed in the Irn-Bru Third Division. But Levein appealed to them, and to supporters of all clubs, to rally when the World Cup qualifiers begin at home to Serbia in eight days. He said he was determined to tap into the feelgood factor from Celtic's qualification for the Champions League group stage.
Levein named a 24-man squad for the opening Hampden double-header against the Serbs and Macedonia on September 8 and 11. No Rangers men were included this time and more notably the Celtic pair, Scott Brown and Kris Commons, were also left out. Brown will be rested because even Celtic are using him sparingly while he takes painkilling injections and treatment for a hip problem. Commons' omission was more contentious given that it was taken on form. Even so, Levein claimed that the players he did select were capable of a successful start and, by extension, they would unite the country.
"There have been a lot of things that have happened this summer that all of us wish hadn't happened," he said, alluding to the Rangers crisis and its wider consequences. "Scottish football has laid its soul bare this summer. I just hope if there are any cracks that have appeared they can be filled in really quickly. My intention as international manager is for us to do as well as we possibly can to get everyone thinking about what's happening on the field.
"I want Celtic's success to continue and every single Scottish person to be hugely proud of their national team no matter which side they support. It's possible to get everyone behind us to get that atmosphere here at Hampden which can have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. I know the responsibility for part of that falls on myself and the players to put in performances that excite people. We couldn't be any more ready to get started.
"I've spoken at length about what happened in the summer and how we need to move on from there. I don't want to have to keep harking back but the players who are going out to play for Scotland are representing Scotland and I would hope every single person in Scotland would take great pride in what these guys do. We'll do our utmost to make sure every single person who comes along to Hampden Park is proud of the players and proud to be Scottish.
"Momentum is a great thing. It's been a while since we've had such a positive story such as Celtic's in the Champions League. The Celtic players are going to be on a high."
The exclusion of Commons was predictable, if only because last week Levein had reeled off seven other forwards he felt had a more convincing claim. "We have the strongest group of attacking midfield players that we have had for a long time. He has had a great start to the season. It's difficult. I had 36 players on a list and had to choose 24. It's the hardest decision I've ever had to make in picking a squad. There are players who just did not deserve to be left out."
Craig Mackail-Smith was another fit player to miss out but Phil Bardsley joined Brown and the captain, Darren Fletcher, in being absent because of injury or illness. The news was far happier, at least, concerning Allan McGregor. Levein had suspected the he would miss the opening ties after suffering a groin injury in this month's friendly against Australia. Instead the goalkeeper, now at Besiktas after leaving Rangers, is confident he will recover.
"I don't know if I need to take a risk on Allan, it will depend on what happens in training," said Levein. "He will arrive on Sunday. I spoke to him this week and he has been training with Besiktas. He's not done a full training session as such, but he is feeling good."
Levein took it as an endorsement of Scottish talent that so many of his squad had recently moved between substantial English clubs or else been the subject of intense speculation. Jordan Rhodes to Blackburn Rovers for £8m, Charlie Adam to Stoke City for £6m, a £6m Southampton bid for Matt Phillips, Norwich City's interest in Mackail-Smith and Barclays Premier League moves for Steven Naismith, Robert Snodgrass and Steven Whittaker: all were hugely encouraging, said Levein.