THE emphasis has been very much on bringing through the Scotland stars of the future ever since Alex McLeish was appointed manager of the national side for a second time back in February.

A raft of promising young players - including, to name a handful, Jack Hendry, Oliver McBurnie, Dylan McGeouch, Scott McKenna and Scott McTominay - have been given their chance at international level with varying degrees of success in the four friendly games which McLeish has overseen to date.

Meanwhile, the likes of Ikechi Anya, Barry Bannan, Christophe Berra, Darren and Steven Fletcher, Chris Martin, James Morrison and Matt Ritchie, mainstays for their country under Gordon Strachan, have all been overlooked.

Yet, Robert Snodgrass remains, despite being left out of the initial squad for the Belgium and Albania double header due to the serious family matter he was dealing with, very much part of the plans.

And Snodgrass, who turns 31 on Friday when Scotland take on Belgium in a friendly at Hampden, is hopeful the experience he has will help the newcomers who have emerged in the past six months to establish themselves in the months ahead.

Particularly now he is, after one of the most turbulent, not to mention traumatic, spells of his professional career, playing regularly in the Premier League in England under no less a figure than Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham.

The Glaswegian was delighted when the London club paid Hull a cool £10 million for his services at the beginning of last year and was relishing playing for them in the top flight down south.

But he quickly discovered that Slaven Bilic, who signed him, had been unaware of where he played and he was soon deploying him out of position.

Worse, though, was to follow. David Sullivan, the chairman, publicly revealed that his children had pleaded with him not to sign Snodgrass. Karen Brady, the vice-chairman, followed that revelation up by describing his acquisition as “not exactly a triumph”.

However, after a successful loan spell at Aston Villa in the Championship last season, he returned to West Ham this summer hopeful of turning the situation around and he has quickly impressed Pellegrini.

Things may not have gone according to plan for the London Stadium club this term – they are bottom of the league table after failing to win one of their first four fixtures - but Snodgrass personally has relished being involved again and has expressed hope Scotland will ultimately benefit in future.

“I’m working with one of the best managers,” he said. “He’s won the Premier League (with Manchester City) and managed in La Liga and I can only learn from people like that. He’s been great with me, he’s always talking to me. That was the case from the off.

“I feel as though this is it starting because under Bilic, there wasn’t a lot of communication and it was difficult. I wasn’t really playing in the right position, where he signed me for. But he was always a good guy, he was always nice as were all his staff, even when I left to go to Aston Villa they were always good with me.

“So I always had that soft spot and always wanted to go back and do well. That’s all I’ve wanted to do wherever I’ve been.”

Snodgrass also revealed that a discussion with Sullivan had put the controversy that erupted as a result of his ill-judged comments to bed. “We sorted that,” he said. “I spoke to the chairman and put that stuff on the backburner.”

The 25-times capped 30-year-old is now keen to put the uncertainty about his future with Scotland in the past. He was upset to hear people questioning his commitment to his country during his time out of the national team. He is determined to help his country reach the Euro 2020 finals.

The former Leeds United, Norwich City and Hill man is hopeful the level he is now playing at – only Stuart Armstrong of Southampton, Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth, Kevin McDonald of Fulham, McTominay of Manchester United, Callum Paterson of Cardiff and Andy Robertson of Liverpool in the Scotland squad play in the top flight down south – will help his cause.

“There’s never been any doubt about playing for Scotland,” he said. “I love it and I want to play at a major tournament. You come up when you have pains and niggles, but I am always there and I always will be there. I’ll always support the boys even if I’m not involved.

“I was talking to Faddy (Scotland coach James McFadden) about it and age does creep up on everybody, but I’m playing in the Premier League, I’m playing in one of the best leagues in the world. So I want to bring that to the Scotland team and help the young lads coming through as well.”

“I’m just glad to be here, it’s the start of a campaign and we need to get off to a good start. I’m happy to be here and let the young boys know what it means to play in these big tournaments, how much it means for the nation to qualify. We are all desperate for the one thing and that’s qualification.

“Nobody wants to start off on the wrong foot, so it’s important we get as much experience with the younger boys and try to have a successful campaign.”

Snodgrass initially made himself unavailable for selection for the Belgium and Albania games after speaking to McLeish as he was still commuting from London to Glasgow to help his mother in her recovery from a stroke and was unsure what the future held for him at club level with West Ham.

But the former Livingston and Stirling Albion player that nobody would be happier if he was to get back playing with the national team on a regular basis and help them secure qualification for Euro 2020 than his mum.

“I was going to the hospital and she was saying that I had to be with the boys because we had big games,” he said. “They are patriotic my family. She’s always trying to make sure her boys are alright, when you are trying to make sure that she is alright.

“The hardest thing for me was not being there constantly because I’m plying my trade down south. It is difficult. If I could have kept it in-house I would have, but you need to tell the truth because it’s the whole reason behind it. I never wanted it to be about me, it was always about being part of a team.”