The Scots' absence from the European Championship in Ukraine and Poland this summer means they are still looking for their first appearance at the business end of a major international tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France.
The Wigan defender will lead Scotland out for the opening Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier against Serbia at Hampden on Saturday for what will be his 50th cap.
And, with Macedonia visiting Glasgow on Tuesday, he is hoping that the lingering disappointment of the Euros will spur the Scots on to a flying start.
"With every campaign that goes by the next one becomes more important and as a group of players we have to live with that, it is down to us," the 30-year-old said.
"We have been part of the campaigns that have failed but that only drives you on to want it even more.
"So we have to use the pain of the last campaign and take it into this one and make sure it doesn't happen again.
"Personnel probably hasn't changed a great deal but the manager knows the group a lot better than he did in the last campaign, he knows what tactics suit us.
"So we are far better prepared to go into the qualifying campaign than the last time.
"It is going to be a difficult game. Serbia are technically and physically gifted and we will need to be on our toes to stop them."
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