CHARLIE Mulgrew says being named as Scotland captain for tomorrow’s friendly with Costa Rica is an ‘unexpected honour’.

The Rovers defender will lead his country out at Hampden Park in what will be Alex McLeish first game in charge of his second spell as national team boss.

Mulgrew in the process will win cap number 32, but says even despite being named as captain, he doesn’t take his place in the squad for granted.

“I am delighted, very honoured. It is unexpected but an honour,” he said.

“I have grown up watching Scotland so to captain the side is great.

“First of all I was delighted to be in the squad, I train every day like it’s my last but to captain is a real honour.

“I hope the reason that I am captain is for the way that I carry myself and how I am about the place and what I have done in games in the past.

“I will look to continue with that.

“There are a lot of lads in the changing room who have played at a good level before and I am delighted to be captain and lead the lads.

“Hopefully we can get a good result and a good performance.”

Mulgrew has been a regular for Scotland since signing for Rovers in the summer of 2016 and was named as club captain by Tony Mowbray in the summer.

McLeish says class act’ Mulgrew is a deserved leader for his country.

He said: “Charlie looks a class act at that level and we know that he's also played at the top level.

“Scotland international level is routine for Charlie now.

“We want him to help the young kids about him who are going to come in. We could have up to 10 new caps playing.

“He's a good leader and deserves to be captain.”

Scotland are in action again on Tuesday when they travel to face Hungary in a second friendly.

That game comes 48 hours before Rovers are back in league action against Bradford at Ewood Park, though no mention has been made of Mulgrew’s involvement in that match.

McLeish has named a youthful squad for the upcoming friendlies, with Mulgrew’s experience likely to be key in ushering in a new era for the Tartan Army.

He added: “That is a good thing for me and probably what has worked in my favour.

“Training has been brilliant.

“Everyone is working hard to first of all stay in the squad and then to try and get a starting place.

“It has made for a good atmosphere.

“It is naturally different with a new manager and staff coming in.

“There are players who have not been called up before or a lot so naturally there is a different feeling and a freshness about things.

“Training has been good and we are all looking forward to the game and putting that in to practice.”

Boyhood Celtic fan Mulgrew admits captaining Scotland is ‘right up there’ with captaining the Bhoys and added: “I would like to think that I am respected in the squad.

“I will try and make sure I do what I have been doing.

“Every game and training session is a chance to impress for your country.

“Every time you train or pull on the jersey you have to work hard to try and keep your place in the squad.

“Every time there is a squad named I am looking for my name to see if I am in there.

“I train like every session is my last and I feel like that is how I get the best out of myself and I won’t be taking anything for granted.”