Liam Cooper was given a tough introduction to life as a Scotland player during the international break, which is why Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa may need to put an arm around him to boost his confidence.
The 28-year-old defender was deservedly drafted into Steve Clarke’s squad and earned his first two senior caps.
But the centre-back was given a tough starts during defeats to Russia and Belgium in European Championship qualifiers, which must have been a wake-up call to what it’s like facing elite attackers.
Cooper didn’t perform terribly on his first taste of international football, but had a tough battle last week against Russia powerhouse striker Artem Dzyuba.
He then had to deal with centre-forward Romelu Lukaku on Monday against Belgium, while playmaker Kevin De Bruyne pulled the strings too.
It would be easy to see a player’s confidence impacted by being thrown into a tough international environment.
Cooper should though get another chance to impress in a Scotland jersey in the next international break and it’s up to Leeds to remind him what a key player he is for them as he returns to Yorkshire.
He’s one of the top commanding centre-backs in the Championship and a leader at Elland Road that is captain for a reason.
It would have been eye opening to face some of the best on the international stage, but that can’t be allowed to impact his club form as he’s a key presence at the back and he won’t be facing the same type of opponents.