Ryan Porteous watched his Scotland team-mates gearing up for their summer holidays after Tuesday’s win over Georgia while preparing to start his next campaign the following day.
The defender was due back at Watford for a team meeting and day three of pre-season training hours after helping Scotland to victory in difficult conditions.
The former Hibernian player is happy to get back to England, though, and get to work under new head coach Valerien Ismael, who was appointed on May 10.
“All the boys are jetting off on holiday but I’m back in,” Porteous said. “There will be a big rebuild probably at Watford so I’m looking forward to getting started there.
“I had a holiday before. We finished up on the 10th (of May) so I got away for a couple of weeks.
“Listen, I will be in good shape going back. That’s what you want as a player. Pre-season is hard enough but if you are in good physical state, as you need to be in this day and age, then it will be of benefit to me.”
The defender’s return to club duty might have been delayed at one point as the Euro 2024 qualifier looked in severe doubt because of a waterlogged pitch, with rules stating any abandoned game continues the next day.
Porteous got away from Hampden after midnight but the fans were not far in front of him after a near two-hour delay while water was swept off the pitch following a torrential downpour.
Speaking after a 2-0 win for the Group A leaders, the 24-year-old said: “We wanted the game to go on because there were 50,000 fans there. For them to come to the game, spend all that money on travel and tickets and then go home very disappointed that the game was the next day, wasn’t what we wanted.
“We wanted to play the game. We understand why they (Georgia) wouldn’t because they were 1-0 down, that’s completely understandable, but most of the fans stayed to the end.
“The fans were brilliant, because it was a late night for a lot of kids and working people as well.”
The victory made it four wins from four in Group A, Scotland’s best start to any qualifying campaign, and sent them eight points clear halfway through their schedule.
Porteous said: “It’s exactly where we want to be, but the manager keeps reiterating to us and the press that we have done nothing yet.
“We have put ourselves in a fantastic position but it’s one game at a time that will get us there. We need to stay grounded.
“Four wins probably doesn’t get you there, you have to keep going.”