Celtic goalkeeper Scott Bain might give Neil Lennon the “heebie jeebies” at times but the interim Parkhead manager has applauded the manner in which the 27-year-old has gone from being frozen out at Dundee to making himself first choice pick for club and possibly country in the space of 15 months.

Allan McGregor’s retirement from international football has opened the door for Bain as Scotland prepare to embark upon their European Championships qualification campaign. Having taken the gloves from established keeper Craig Gordon at the turn of the year, Bain has shipped just two domestic goals and Lennon expects that dislodging him from his current position will take some doing.

Lennon and Bain crossed paths briefly at Easter Road in January last year before Bain then switched to Celtic in a deadline day move that saw him turn up at Celtic Park still in his Hibs training kit.

“I only spent about a week with him at Hibs – maybe not even as much as that,” said Lennon. “I didn’t want to stop him going to Celtic. The by-product of that was that we got Scott Allan in the door at Hibs.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity for him. He’s ready for it. I think he’s been exceptionally good for us over the past couple of months. I see an improvement in him. He has good composure, great agility and he’s excellent with his feet.

“He has a chance now to make himself the Scotland No 1. It has been a meteoric rise for him over the last year or so. But he’s handled it extremely well. If he gets the opportunity, I’m sure he won’t let anyone down. He’s really grounded. Nothing ever seems to phase him. I think he’s got a good mentality. He comes across as quite laid back but his concentration levels are very good.”

If Bain is successful in the coming Scotland games against Kazakhstan and San Marino, there is every chance that he could firmly establish himself as first choice at international level in the same way he has quietly taken the position at Celtic.

“Craig is still got plenty to offer so there is competition there but if Scott gets the call he won’t let anyone down that’s for sure,” said Lennon. “He is the typical modern day goalkeeper. He is very comfortable with the ball. He gives me the heebie jeebies sometimes but there you go. His actual faculties for a goalkeeper are very good – his agility, his handling, his positional sense and his calmness are all things that I like.”

Meanwhile, Callum McGregor is expected to play a part in Sunday’s game against Dundee at Dens Park. The midfielder is in contention for the Player of the Year award this term with consistently high performance levels for Celtic and McGregor is another who has grown up in the time that Lennon has been away from the club.

The midfielder had a loan spell at Notts County while Lennon was Celtic manager and he has been impressed at the manner in which he has matured into one of the Parkhead side’s most important players.

“He was only a boy when I first saw him. He then went and had a great spell at Notts County,” said Lennon. “To see him now, it’s all down to himself, his hard work and his mindset.

“He’s another big-game player. He thrives in those occasions and you can play him in a number of positions as well. It doesn’t faze him. He has real intelligence as a footballer and physically he’s a really good specimen now as well.

“He’s not even at his peak yet. He’s got another four, five, six really good years in him. I’m delighted with him."