IT is over two years now since Wales reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 in France, but the joy of that achievement lingers on.

Oli McBurnie, the Scotland striker, is certainly reminded of it constantly down at Swansea City.

“They like to bring it up a lot,” he said. “It can be tough to take sometimes. But there are quite a few Scots down there now so I have back-up and we can fight back a bit more.”

Yet, McBurnie, whose chances of being involved in the Nations League double header against Albania and Israel significantly increased when Leigh Griffiths and Steven Naismith became unavailable due to injuries, knows reaching the Euro 2020 finals would be the best way to silence his club mates.

What is more, the 22-year-old firmly believes, despite the bitterly disappointing defeat to Israel last month and the absence of a raft of important players, that the national team can go a long way towards attaining that objective by clinching a play-off spot in their next two Group C1 fixtures.

He feels the success Gareth Bale and his compatriots enjoyed two years ago shows what a lesser footballing nation can still do in the modern game.

“What Wales did shows that, no matter the size of the country or the expectations people put on you, you can always exceed them,” he said. “Look at how far they got. That gives us hope we can do the same in the future.

“When you look at the Northern Ireland team on paper you might think they wouldn’t do as well as they have. But win a few games and you never know where it can take you.

“That’s what we need to do, we need to build a few results on top of each other and if we can do that we’ll be flying.”

McBurnie knows the Nations League could provide Scotland’s best chance of reaching the Euro 2020 finals as they will come up against far stronger teams than Albania and Israel in it and he is determined to grasp it.

“This could be our best opportunity,” he said. “We are taking it very seriously. We want to get maximum points from our next two games and give ourselves the best opportunity possible.”

McBurnie has failed to net in any of the six games he has played for Scotland under Alex McLeish, who is under intense pressure after the Israel loss, but he would like to put that right in the coming days to show his gratitude to his manager for the faith he has shown in him.

Having established himself in the Swansea team this season and scored seven goals in the English Championship, the centre forward, who qualifies to play for this country through his Glasgow-born father, is certainly confident that he can open his account.

“I’ll be eternally grateful for the opportunity the manager has given me,” he said. “Ever since he’s come in, I’ve been in every squad. So personally I feel like I want to repay him for that. But I also want to do as well as I can for my country whenever I get that chance.

“I have been in a good bit of form at Swansea and obviously the aim is to come up to these internationals and try and carry that on. I just want to bring that confidence up here and take it into these games. Teams need goals to get results and as strikers it’s down to us to try and find ways to get those goals.”