THE main concern for Charlie Adam at present is simply finding the next club football shirt to wear, but there is one jersey above all others he still dreams of pulling over his head. And although it is widely known that he would dearly love to play for Rangers again, this particular jersey is a darker shade of blue. No, not Dundee either.

Even now, at 33 and short of regular football after being told he can move on from English Championship club Stoke City, Adam still harbours ambitions to reignite a Scotland career that fizzled out in a blaze of indifference three-and-a-half years ago as he picked up the last of his 26 caps in the low-key friendly against Qatar at Easter Road.

Gordon Strachan, then manager of the national side, never again recalled the midfielder, despite Adam playing regularly in the English top flight throughout his time as boss. But the appointment of Alex McLeish as Scotland boss, the man who gave Adam his debut for both Rangers and his country, has given him fresh hope of pulling on the dark blue once more.

Asked if his international career was over, Adam replied: “I hope not. At the end of the day, performances at club level dictate that, and at the moment in midfield, we’re very strong in there. But on form, you’ve got to back yourself and get an opportunity. To do that, you’ve got to play regularly, and when I am playing regularly I would never ever close the door.

“I’m still available, but I need to be playing games before I’m even thinking about Scotland, and before Alex even thinks about picking me. Once I’m playing games, then you get judged on that.

“[Alex] gave me my debut for Scotland and my debut for Rangers, so I’ve got an opportunity. But, I can only get there by playing regularly at club level and then we’ll go from there.

“I’m hoping that once I do get back playing, that the opportunity arises, and I get the chance to represent my country again.”

Adam admits that being ignored by McLeish’s predecessor, Strachan, still stings.

“It was hard to take, but when the manager has a squad to pick, then he’s got to pick the players he feels are playing well,” he said. “The Celtic lads were flying at the time and he felt he would go with that, and that’s the way it goes, that’s football. I was disappointed with that.

“I just drifted out. I got my 26th cap at Easter Road against Qatar and then was never seen again. It was like somebody just made me disappear really, but it is what it is. That’s the way it goes.

“The manager obviously never fancied me and that’s fine. We moved on and we’ve moved on as a country now. We’re trying to be the best we can, and hopefully if Charlie Adam is part of that then great, but if not, then I’ve had a great Scotland career.

“But I’m still confident that once I get back playing I’ll be good enough to contribute to Scotland getting back to a major tournament.”

Whether McLeish eventually recalls Adam to the national set-up or not, his admiration for a man he says reminds him of late father – also Charlie, who died in 2012 – will remain undiminished.

“I wished Alex all the best when he got the job, and I have done before every game that he’s managed, because I like him as a person first and foremost,” he said.

“He’s somebody who I could relate to, and someone I look up to as a father, because I was young [when I was at Rangers] and I see a lot of my dad in how he is as a person. He’s an honest guy, he will speak the truth and tell people how it is. I like that about him.

“Giving someone your debut for club and for country means that he trusts you, and he’s always somebody that I know if I was to pick up the phone in any part of my playing career, he would always answer, and I would always be able to speak to him. That’s something I’ve always seen in him.

"I always look up to him and I always want the best for him, because he’s had a sticky time because of the results, but he’s big enough and brave enough to take it on the chin. He’s worked his way through that and come the next round of games he’ll be prepared and ready to go again. Hopefully we can get the right results and he can be successful again.”

*Charlie Adam was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup and Scottish Football.