ALEX McLeish last night admitted it was the dawn of a new era for Scotland as he selected a youthful squad with nine uncapped players for the friendlies against Costa Rica at Hampden and Hungary in Budapest at the end of the month.

McLeish, who was named as manager of the national team for a second time last month, has called up six new faces, Barry Douglas (Wolves), Oliver McBurnie (Barnsley), Dylan McGeouch (Hibernian), Scott McKenna (Aberdeen), Jon McLaughlin (Hearts) and Scott McTominay (Manchester United).

The 59-year-old, revealed that only Scott Brown, the Celtic captain and midfielder, had informed him he no longer wished to be considered and stressed the likes of Darren Fletcher, Chris Martin and Robert Snodgrass were omitted because he is aware of their capabilities.

Read more: Intrepid traveller Alex McLeish rewarded for Scott McTominay expedition with first big win of his Scotland tenure

However, he has challenged those players he has brought in to use the double header to stake a claim for inclusion in his squad for the Nations League matches against Albania and Israel later this year and then the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

“These guys have been playing at a good level for their clubs and they deserve to be in there with a shout,” said McLeish. “The next challenge for them is to bring that form to the national team and get more confidence from the fact that they’re in this circle, the top level of football.

“A lot of them have done it already. There’s a few playing at European level and there are one or two who have got to show myself that they can step up.

“They have to prove that they can play for Scotland. The bottom line is that we have to win football matches. All the work that I’ve done in the last few weeks means nothing unless we win games,

“There will have to be a bit of patience for people to accept young players trying to find their feet in international football. But it’s an unforgiving arena. A lot of the guys are untested so it’s a good chance for us to test them.

Read more: Intrepid traveller Alex McLeish rewarded for Scott McTominay expedition with first big win of his Scotland tenure

“When we meet them for the first time we will be making waves to accentuate that philosophy. We want the guys to get as close as they can as quick as they can with the staff we have. The staff that were here before us are also integral to that. We will working a lot on the mentality of the dressing room."

Asked if he would select the same squad for a competitive fixture, McLeish said: “I think it would be pretty close to my squad. I’ve got to be honest. I believe that those guys are playing to a pretty good level.”

McLeish, who named Peter Grant as his assistant, James McFadden as a first team coach and Stevie Woods as goalkeeping coach, deliberately omitted more experienced players like Ikechi Anya, Barry Bannan, Darren Fletcher, Chris Martin and Robert Snodgrass because he is aware of what they are capable of.

But he stressed: “We’re going to need experience. I spoke to all the fellows who have been involved recently and said, ‘I know what you can do. You’re very much in my thoughts but I’m going to look at some other players at this particular international period’.

“Nobody else has retired. Nobody has said, ‘Forget about it – that’s me finished now.’ That’s great. I’ve not closed the door on anybody. You need the nous and the experience of what those guys can do. We’ll miss Scott Brown, but it’s up to somebody else to take that mantle.”

Read more: Intrepid traveller Alex McLeish rewarded for Scott McTominay expedition with first big win of his Scotland tenure

McLeish has named McTominay, the 21-year-old midfielder who has been playing regularly for United in the Premier League and Champions League this season, but suggested that Tom Cairney, the Fulham player who made his Scotland debut against Canada last year, may be preferred.

“We have got new kids on the block,” he said. “Scott McTominay has just come in. He has got such a lot of football to play before he can play in the Scott Brown position. It is very specialised.

“But I have seen a lot of Fulham over the last couple of years and have been very impressed with Tom Cairney and Kevin McDonald. They have played to a really consistent and good level and Fulham are flying this season. Cairney and McDonald have been really top drawer.”