There's no escaping the feeling of disappointment. We all felt so deflated at going out of the Euros.

But let’s not forget those three or four days after Wembley.

I’ve not seen the nation like that for more than 20 years. There was excitement, nervousness, optimism.

The whole country was together.

It didn’t work out the way we wanted but that is the feeling we need to keep.

Let’s stick together, because, you know what, this wasn’t a once in a lifetime experience.

I don’t believe it will be another 23 years before we are back at a major tournament.

And you know why I’m convinced? Because I see a promising squad and I looked at the reaction of our key men.

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I’ve heard some people saying the players were just happy to be there.

Nonsense. You look at the pain on the faces of Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, John McGinn and Scott McTominay.

These guys are winners and they were hurting.

That wasn’t the look of guys who are just tourists.

They were not just turning up and enjoying taking part.

They wanted to get us out of the group and were absolutely gutted we didn’t.

Good. That’s what I love to see. They want to improve and they want to get back to this level again.

Of course there are some things we could have done better at the Euros but I believe this last month will stand us in good stead.

There has been some criticism levelled at Steve Clarke and the squad but I can’t believe what I’m hearing.

I just think, ‘what is the world coming to?’.

Steve Clarke's side failed to get out of Group D

It wasn’t so long ago we were getting battered by Kazakhstan, now we are complaining about the performances in the Euros.

I know the likes of Graeme Souness didn’t like the way we played against Croatia and that’s fine, it’s his opinion and he is entitled to give it.

Graeme knows his stuff and if that’s how he sees it then fair enough.

But sometimes you need to hold your hand up and admit you lost to the better team. Sometimes you can only play the way your opponent lets you.

Croatia did to us what they did to England in Russia three years ago.

The Czech game will be the one we look at with a hint of regret. Kieran Tierney was a massive miss and should we have played Billy Gilmou r?

It’s all ifs and buts.

What is certain is Croatia were outstanding the other night. I heard people saying they were an ageing team, the likes of Luka Modric were over the hill and they were there for the taking.

Come off it. They have quality and they showed it on Tuesday. You look at Modric, Perisic, Kovacic – you are talking about top-notch footballers.

Sure, they might be getting on a bit, but look at it the other way. They have bags of big tournament experience.

They didn’t get worked up about not playing well against the English. They sorted it out and improved game by game.

That’s what tournament teams do.

And it’s the one thing we lack. This squad has never been in this environment and it did tell.

But I’ll tell you what – they will gain from it.

They’ll grow stronger thanks to this experience and they will be back. I’m convinced of it.

The same goes for the manager. He’s a top coach but this was all new to him and he’ll come back in the autumn better for it.

I would prefer to be positive and I say the future is bright.

Scotland's Lyndon Dykes (left) and Che Adams
Scotland's Lyndon Dykes (left) and Che Adams

We’ve got the right guy in charge and there is a good group of players who are at the right age to continue improving. You can tell the players are enjoying being part of the set up. There’s a real spirit in the camp and they love representing the country.

You could say we lack a but in the final third but count me out when it comes to bashing Lyndon Dykes and Che Adams.

They are both good players, they just are maybe not out-and-out goalscorers.

There is quality through the rest of the side and you look at the likes of Gilmour and Nathan Paterson coming through, along with David Turnbull and a few others.

I know there’s some stick flying around and I even saw stuff online moaning about Gilmour being too wee and only passing the ball sideways.

Really? I heard that garbage 20 odd years ago, surely we’ve come on since then.

No one says Modric is too small and he’s about eight stone soaking wet. I don’t see anyone pointing to Phil Foden’s size.

As for the passing. Ask anyone in the game worth their salt and they’ll tell you Gilmour is a top player. He’s not got potential – he’s got it now.

He’s a cracking player and he’s going to be a huge part in Scotland’s bright future.

We’re all disappointed now but we won’t be in the next few years.