Andrew Robertson is aware Alan Hutton won half a century of Scotland caps and played more than 50 times for Tottenham Hotspur in the English top flight. But, when he is likened to the former Rangers right-back, Robertson also knows it is not currently for flattering reasons.
The comparison, when it was drawn on the night Scotland played Netherlands last week, was because Robertson was making his fifth international appearance of the season. He has made just three so far for his club side, Liverpool.
There was a spell when Hutton was living a similar surreal life: out of favour at his club, Aston Villa, but an integral part of Gordon Strachan’s Scotland side. In 2013-14 Hutton, then on loan at Bolton Wanderers, played eight times for Scotland and nine times for his club.
Robertson, 23, right, who joined Liverpool from Hull City in July, concedes it has reached the point where he can’t just put his lack of playing time at Liverpool down to bedding-in.
He has already approached manager Jurgen Klopp for pointers to why he has not been included in some recent Liverpool squads.
“I’ve spoken to the manager because I felt as if the settling-in period was over for me and I thought I was ready to play,” Roberson said. “I felt I did myself justice in the games I have played so I had a good chat with him. He gave me a few points to work on and that’s kept me going.
“I know I’m still well in his plans and if I work on the things he’s asked me to then hopefully I’ll be in the first team, or closer to it.”
Robertson is fit and raring to go but has started only twice in the league so far, the last time against Burnley in September. He has fallen out of the picture at a time when Liverpool’s defensive deficiencies have been put under the microscope.
Alberto Moreno, the current first-choice left-back, has retained his place despite making a litany of errors. Robertson has had to look on and was not even included in the matchday squad for the most recent game, a 4-1 win against West Ham United.
“Of course it’s difficult for me,” he said. “I hate not playing. It’s been a very frustrating three months for me. I was looking forward to the Holland game to get some game time.
“I was delighted to get 90 minutes. I was a bit rusty and it probably caught up with me in the last 20 minutes but that’s something I’ve got to look at. I need to get more game time.”
Asked how he copes with this currently trying period, he replied: “That’s a hard one. Maybe a question I can’t answer right now because I’ve not cracked it yet. I’ve not been used to it. In the past five years my rise has been good. If I can keep doing what I’m doing then hopefully my chance will come.”
Despite such concerns over lack of match time at Liverpool, Robertson has had much to cheer him when he returns home at night. He became a father for the first time shortly after arriving at Anfield, Klopp giving the player permission to skip a match with Arsenal to attend the birth of Rocco.
“It’s like anyone,” he said. “If things aren’t going well at work and you go home and see your missus and kid then it cheers you up straight away.
“I thank them, they’re both keeping me going and that’s what makes me go into training every day with a smile on my face.”