Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell has urged his players to take inspiration from their captain Liam Kelly and former team-mate Max Johnston’s international breakthroughs.
Goalkeeper Kelly made his Scotland debut in Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat by France, while 19-year-old Johnston was called into the squad for the first time several months after leaving Fir Park for Sturm Graz.
“It’s a serious game against arguably one of the best sides in the world and some of the top players in the world,” said Kettlewell, whose team are looking to end a four-game losing streak when they face St Johnstone on Saturday.
“I’m fairly certain Liam is going to come back a better goalkeeper and a better person for it because when you expose yourself to that, it can only be a good thing.
“I’m delighted for him and I think it gives him a real boost coming back into our group.
“To see Motherwell players involved in the Scotland set-up, for where we are just now as a nation, I also look at Max Johnston, taking that step into the senior squad as well – that’s a lesson learned for a lot of people.
“Where we are operating, you are not five or six steps away from making that jump. Max Johnston was out on loan at Cove Rangers this time last year. That just shows you what’s possible.
“I always talk about pushing boundaries. If you are performing consistently, your numbers are good and you are catching your eye of the general public in Scotland, you see a manager who is prepared to give guys an opportunity.”
With Scotland clinching Euro 2024 qualification, Kelly could hand Motherwell a financial boost if he makes Steve Clarke’s 23-man squad for Germany.
“Most important, if he maintains his levels, Steve Clarke has been pretty loyal in his squad selection,” Kettlewell said.
“But I know the type of guy he is, take away the financial gains and all the rest of it that might come for ourselves, we just look at simply getting him back and switched on for Motherwell.
“Not thinking about Kylian Mbappe, just getting his head back on his job here. But he is a consummate pro and I have no doubts he will be the influence he has been since I came in.”
Motherwell could have Calum Butcher back in their squad in Perth, five months after the defensive player suffered a foot injury that required surgery.
Kettlewell said: “I watched him on the training pitch on Monday and it was an absolute breath of fresh air to see him back and the levels he hit. He was not a million miles away from the levels he left when he dipped out in May.
“He has been through an extensive rehab so if there’s no issues I would envisage he puts himself into contention for the squad. I have been pleasantly surprised by his fitness levels.”
Mika Biereth is due back in training next Thursday following a knee injury, while Jon Obika is slightly further behind in his recovery from a hamstring problem.