Gary Caldwell has been picked for his country for more than a decade. Darren Fletcher has been in the team for nine years and Scott Brown for seven. The four of them are the national side's longest-serving senior players – Miller is 32, Caldwell 30, Fletcher 28 and Brown 27. One other length of time worth mentioning: 18 years, the gap between Scotland's last participation at a major tournament and the next finals which offer a realistic chance: Euro 2016 in France.
Once a regular Scotland player gets to around 30 a creeping sense of dread encroaches on his mind. Miller spoke of it when he acknowledged the very real prospect of his entire international career, which now stretches to 63 appearances since 2001, coming and going without reaching a World Cup or European Championship. Miller has already watched three Euros and three World Cups as an outsider, and his honesty compelled him to concede that the 2014 finals are slipping away, too.
When asked if it preyed on his mind, the answer was downbeat but unequivocal. "Of course, it does. This is probably my last chance and it's disappearing fast," he said.
"Not appearing at any finals is a blot on the cv. There's a generation of players now who are looking at that prospect. Playing at a finals would be the highlight of your career, not just for me. Look at the likes of Barry Ferguson in my time who never made a finals, big 'Gaz' Caldwell is coming into that category, too. Darren Fletcher will have a few campaigns, but he's come through times when we're toiling.
"In general, it's always hard for us to get to finals because of the play-off system now, rather than top-two qualifying. But we have come close at times and you could write a book on the hard-luck stories. You're looking at possibly this being my last campaign, although I'll be 36 for the Euros and with 24 teams qualifying, I might just hang on in there."
Miller's candour will be missed when he eventually leaves the international arena. He is one of Craig Levein's favourites, which didn't make it any easier for the Scotland manager to tell him on Friday that he would drop out of the team to make room for Steven Fletcher. He is likely to be a substitute again in tomorrow night's match against Belgium in Brussels.
Miller did not hide his disappointment, but nor did he criticise the man who had subjected him to it. "Of course, it hurts, but the manager's paid to make these decisions. He would expect me to be disappointed. If you're happy to come away and sit on the bench then there's no point [coming at all].
"In a squad of 24 there isn't anyone who wants to be on the bench. I want to play – I'm on a 10-hour flight to get here and I want to play. But it's not about individuals, it's about the team pulling together."
While Steven Fletcher is fit and available it is difficult to envisage Miller starting many more matches for his country, unless Levein is replaced by a manager who is prepared to play with two outright forwards. Miller can play wide on the right, but there would be no sense in sacrificing a midfielder – where Scotland's resources are comparatively rich – to regularly accommodate a striker who will be 33 before the end of the year.
Miller got only the final six minutes against Wales on Friday but was an unwilling spectator to the winning goal, which further diminished his chances of ever playing at a major tournament. Without naming names, he was openly critical of the sluggish defending which allowed Gareth Bale the room to shoot and score. The failure to close down had been Charlie Adam's, of course. "Wales would have been a great away win and we would have gone into the Belgium game on Tuesday full of confidence," he observed. "Now we go into that on a downer, again.
"The guy we knew was their big danger man [Bale] has come up with an incredible goal right at the end to win it. From my point of view, it's preventable, too easy for them. It was sloppy. We knew Bale was the danger man and we afforded him too much space and time for the goal.
"They get a free-kick near halfway and my recollection is that it's touched to Bale and he's run on unchallenged and then stuck it in the top corner. Whether someone has switched off for the free-kick or not, others have to come and try and block it. He had a free run and while it's a helluva strike and I knew it was in from the second it left his boot, he was able to stride on unopposed from the halfway line. It's a poor, poor goal to lose when we know he's the danger man. That cannot happen."
But it did, and it was exploited mercilessly. That was a moment of poor play and there were others, of course, in the damaging home draws with Serbia and Macedonia last month. Scotland haven't been slow at shooting themselves in the foot, although goalkeeper Allan McGregor articulated a view held by Levein and many other players yesterday when he complained that the team had been repeatedly unlucky. The goalkeeper mentioned Steven Fletcher having a goal wrongly disallowed on Friday night, Wales equalising with a "soft" penalty, Macedonia scoring from an offside position at Hampden last month and the Czech Republic being given a controversial late penalty to equalise in a Euro 2012 qualifier a year ago.
"I have said it already and I will say it again: some of the decisions we have had to contend with are really hard to take and it was the same again on Friday night," said McGregor. "I am not taking anything away from Wales and I know it sounds like sour grapes, but it is true and you only have to look at some of the incidents. It's hard to pinpoint what is going wrong. As the manager said, there is just one ingredient away from things going well, but luck is definitely not something we have had a lot of."
The point was echoed by Caldwell. "We are giving everything that we can but whether it be a break, a bit of luck or a bit of quality, we just haven't had it. We need to find it quickly. We are all trying. There is no-one [in the dressing room] who is not giving their all. There is nothing else we can do.
"There are still games to go, so we have to keep trying and fighting. We have to believe – each and every one of us – and go to Belgium, play well, get the breaks and win the game. If we do that, then we are probably still in the group."
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