Hoops goalkeeper Craig Gordon will head into the SFA’s prestigious Hall of Fame if, as expected, he earns his 50th cap on Thursday night as Scotland host Slovakia.

The Celtic stopper has revealed that there was a point in his career following his injury hell that his target was simply to win one more cap for his country.

Gordon has eclipsed that by going on to re-establish himself as the first choice keeper for his country, an honour that he has never taken lightly.

“To get my 50th Scotland cap in a game of this importance would be huge for me,” said Gordon. “I was stranded on 40 when I got injured and that seems like a million miles away to get another 10 after that.

“That was part of the reason I came back to football with Celtic. I wanted to get back to that level. At one stage, I’d have been delighted with one more cap. Just to be able to say that I had come back and done well enough to play for my country one more time, that would have been enough.

“But to go and get another 10 to make it to 50 and get into the Hall of Fame is amazing. I think I’m right in saying that I will only be the third goalkeeper to do that, after Jim Leighton and Alan Rough. I don’t think anyone got 50 caps in goal.

“Getting 50 caps is something I’ve wanted to do and as I’ve progressed in my career, I wanted to try and get closer to it. So it will be very special if I can get it against Slovakia.

“It will be very emotional to go out at Hampden and do that. I’ve managed to come back and play in the Champions League with Celtic but to do as well as I have over the last four years is incredible.”

The magnitude of Thursday night’s game is difficult to underestimate for Gordon Strachan’s side.

Slovakia is followed hard on the heels by Slovenia on Monday, with victory from both required in order to push through a play-off spot.

It remains premature to entertain talk of landing a golden ticket to Russia next summer but inevitably Gordon would perceive any such adventure as the pinnacle of his career.

“It would be at the top,” he said. “That would be the final thing to be able to go to Russia and compete in the World Cup finals would top it all and complete everything that I wanted to do.

“I’ve won titles and trophies with Celtic and played in the Champions League but to be able to play in the World Cup, then I could sit back once I retire and be very happy.

“It’s still in Scotland’s hands to do that. But we’ve got to win a play-off as well if we can finish second. We’ve gone four games undefeated and we will need to go another four to get there. So we need to do eight in a row.

“It’s still a difficult task but we have given ourselves a chance. The next game with Slovakia is the most important one. We’ll hopefully have a big home crowd behind us, and it will be a lot busier than the Malta game, and the fans will give us a great backing to produce a great effort.

“Slovakia are a really good side. They gave England a scare in their last game and we are going to have to play really well to come out with the win. But with everyone behind and the way the team is playing now, we’ve given ourselves a chance.”