IAN BLACK is desperately hoping the new Scotland manager will open the door for a return to international football for him.
The Rangers midfielder was handed his one and only cap by Craig Levein when he climbed off the bench for the final couple of minutes of a friendly with Australia at Easter Road last August – but was bombed out when the World Cup qualifying campaign got underway again.
And it was the same for his Ibrox team-mate Lee Wallace. He was informed he would not be considered as long as he was playing in the lower leagues and there were players in the same position performing well in the English Premier League and the SPL.
When Levein was relieved of his duties and Under-21 coach Billy Stark took over for the recent friendly victory over Luxemburg, Black hoped it might signal a return for him and Wallace.
However, both were omitted, but that does not mean the midfielder has given up hope of pulling on a Scotland jersey again and he is hoping whoever the SFA appoint as manager will keep an open mind when it comes to selecting players from the Ibrox club.
Black said: "They can't ignore us if we are playing well. I think the two of us were a bit disappointed we didn't make the last squad. It was a game they could experiment in and play other people in, but hopefully moving forward we can be involved again."
Black refuses to accept playing in the Irn-Bru Third Division should hamper their chances of breaking into the squad on the grounds they have already proven themselves to be more than good enough to play in the SPL and are involved in training matches that more than match the intensity of top-flight fixtures.
"We are playing every week, but there were boys in the squad who weren't even getting a game at their clubs," said Black.
"Hopefully the new manager will come and watch us. We have both been involved before, we know what is expected, and it is up to us to play well enough for Rangers and, with a bit of luck, that might open the door for a way into the Scotland squad."
Black, meantime, is confident of being back in action inside the next two weeks after he missed last weekend's win over Stirling Albion with a medial ligament strain.
He said: "It's nothing serious. I picked up the injury in the Elgin cup match and the medical staff said two to three weeks.
"Obviously, I don't want to miss games, but we have a busy period coming up and I'd hope to be back soon.
"It was disappointing to sit out last weekend's game, given the importance of the day in Rangers' history, but these things happen."