We may find out at Easter Road tomorrow night. The immediate legacy of Team GB's success at the London Games is a nation basking in a warm and fuzzy glow but there is also now a feeling that our sporting heroes should continue to deliver on demand. It seems glorious failure, so often the British way, will no longer be tolerated.
Scottish football could certainly do with surfing on this wave of euphoria. A summer marred by the fall-out from Rangers' demise has caused even those who would describe themselves as positive thinkers to retire to a dark corner for a spot of lengthy soul-searching. With Scottish clubs, Celtic aside, struggling to make headway in European competition, it now falls on the national team to try to lift sagging spirits.
The dawn of a new qualifying campaign is always a time for optimism, justified or otherwise, and Scotland's friendly match against Australia should provide a reasonable gauge of just how ready Craig Levein's squad are for their World Cup double-header against Serbia and Macedonia next month. There is a belief among Levein, his players and his staff that the team is moving in the right direction, and victory and a strong performance at Easter Road tomorrow would help persuade the doubters that it is more than a mere illusion. Peter Houston, the Scotland assistant manager, agrees.
"We have to be positive," he said. "We are looking forward to a very important time coming up and we need to get off to a good start on Wednesday night. It would be lovely to go into next month's games on a high and that's the aim, to get a positive performance and a positive result against a good side. We have to be positive going into a World Cup group. Tickets for more than half the stadium have been sold for the two games next month. About 35,000 of the Tartan Army have renewed their memberships. So they're backing the team and we have to make sure that we all get together and back the team as well. We all want, deep down, to see our country doing well. And I think we have improved, I really do."
If that latter statement is true, then the 5-1 defeat by the United States in May must go down as an embarrassing blip. Houston admits it was not Scotland's finest hour and a half. "It wasn't a good result in America or a good performance," he added. "I'm the first to say that. But mentally, players were finishing the season and were on the way down.
"USA had qualifiers and had to reach a peak to get the points needed. I felt they were much more at it. We trained that week, double sessions, and worked hard with them. The players trained well. But we lost a couple of early goals, we played poorly and we were well beaten in the end. So we have to put that behind us now and look forward to taking on an Australian side who are 22 places above us in the rankings."
Levein's preparations have been hampered by a number of call-offs. James Forrest, Jamie Mackie, Phil Bardsley and Graham Dorrans have all withdrawn in recent days, adding to the likes of Scott Brown, Kenny Miller and Darren Fletcher who were omitted from the original squad. Their absence, Houston believes, will provide an opportunity for others, including striker Jordan Rhodes, to shine.
"Jordan will start the match on Wednesday and we will see if he can produce at this level. That is not to put pressure on the boy. One thing we know for certain is that he is a quality finisher, one of the best I have ever seen. The boys were telling me that in Cyprus, I wasn't there, that he was fantastic in the training games. Finishing is an art. You can be a good player but not be a great finisher. He got 48 goals last year. That's incredible, no matter what division he is playing in. It's an opportunity for a young Scottish player with Kenny not here. But the other side of that is that we have to create opportunities for him and hopefully that is what we will do."
Fletcher, who has not played for 10 months due to a chronic bowel complaint, joined the squad at training yesterday and Houston revealed there would always be some sort of role for the Manchester United midfielder, regardless of his condition.
"He's the captain of Scotland and he's a captain in many ways. One of the things Darren excels in is that he gets in about players and gets chatting to them. With over 50 caps, and the experience he has at Manchester United in the Champions League, it can only benefit the players him advising them in many ways. I'm not sure exactly what he's going to get involved in, whether it is the coaching side as well, but it's brilliant to have him here, great to see him. We only wish he was up here to play in the match as well but hopefully that will not be long in coming."