Former Celtic star Charlie Mulgrew has told Gordon Strachan that he can be the man to help solve Scotland’s defensive woes, and he is ready to step in at centre-half if called upon.

The centre of Scotland’s defence has long been viewed as the weakest area of the national squad, and with regular starter Grant Hanley now unavailable, the national manager has been left with a headache over who to deploy at the heart of his backline.

He has drafted in Leeds United’s Liam Cooper, but after playing regularly in the position for Blackburn Rovers this season, Mulgrew feels ready to answer the call for his country.

"People have always asked me about my favourite position throughout my career,” Mulgrew said.

"I do prefer centre-half or midfield, but I'd like to play as long as I can and defence is probably my best chance to do that. I'm still young, 31, but I just want to play, be happy and help the team.

"It doesn't matter what position I prefer or anyone else. It's about what helps the team.

“I’ve played maybe twice in midfield, once against Manchester United, but I’ve played mostly in the centre of defence this season and I spoke to the manager about that because he likes to play football from the back and that suits me.

“But I said to him, the same way I’ve said a thousand times before, that I’m happy wherever I’m needed be that centre-half or midfield, but he’s happy with me at centre-back at the moment.

“I’ve played in different positions for Scotland. I’ve been down on the squad list as a defender and played midfield. I’m just looking to do my best in training and will be happy wherever the manager wants to put me in.

“I feel like I can play in a couple of positions but the main thing is the team wins. Liam Cooper has been brought in and he’s looked good for Leeds United and been in the squad a couple of times.

“When you concede goals or things don’t go right it’s easy to point to the centre-backs. But as a team you defend and attack. We all take responsibility for that.

“It’s a big game for us and we want to win it. We realise it’s important but if we can win it we’ll be in a good position and that is our main focus.”

Some eyebrows were raised when Mulgrew decided to leave Scotland’s champions last summer to try his luck on the Championship, and with Blackburn struggling near the foot of the division, there may be those who wonder if he regrets his choice.

Not a bit of it. Mulgrew feels as though the move has been the right thing for him both on and off the park.

In terms of his life away from football, he has enjoyed being away from the intense Glasgow spotlight, while he feels he has benefited as a player from being tested on a more regular basis than he was while wearing the green and white hoops.

“At the time a lot of people looked and thought it wasn’t the right move but it was me that wanted to do it,” he said.

“I wanted to experience something different, at this stage of my career it was probably my last chance to go down south and I wanted that.

“Off the field everything has been great, on the field it’s been difficult with picking up results but I’ve never regretted my decision. I’m enjoying the challenge, I’m enjoying playing different teams at big stadiums and a whole new challenge.

“A lot of the games are more even down there and that was part of the challenge why I wanted to go down. I wanted to be part of that, experience that and grow. I feel it’s improved me as well.

“You have a lot of the ball at Celtic, in most games you’ve got at least 60-70 percent possession. So it’s different, there’s more defending to be done.

“The regular involvement has prepared me for this week. It keeps you fit. I like to play as many games as I can and I always feel my best when I’m playing games.

“The fitter you are, the better it’s going to be for you. I feel as if I’ve improved since I’ve been at Blackburn. It’s opened my eyes a bit. While I’ve been down south before, I haven’t played as much in the Championship as I have recently.

“I feel more prepared now and that I’m a better player, more experienced. It’s a more demanding league. Every game is genuinely 50-50.”

While he may be enjoying life away from Glasgow, Mulgrew can’t help but keep a close eye on the progress of his former club, and he has been hugely impressed by his old team-mate Stuart Armstrong.

"I have watched a lot of the Celtic game and Stuart has been very good,” he said.

"He has scored a lot of goals but to be fair, he always did well in training under the last manager.

"I could see his ability and Stuart has added goals to that, so fair play to him. He's a good addition to the squad.

"Under the last Celtic manager, I felt that he did well wherever he played. He helped us a lot, he's full of unselfish running and always worked hard.

"Stuart prefers to play central and maybe doesn't like wide left, but I felt he always did well and that he should be playing."