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DEREK JOHNSTONE SLAMS CELT’S SCOTLAND U-TURN

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FORMER Rangers skipper Derek Johnstone has slammed Scott Brown’s decision to make himself available for selection to Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad.

The Celtic captain announced his international retirement in August, but has had a change of mind after his remarkable start to the season at club level.

It’s odds-on he will get a call-up by Strachan for the crucial World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley on November 11.

However, Johnstone reckons the Hoops midfielder should stick to his original decision and remain on the sidelines.

He said: “The game against England is a huge one for Gordon Strachan’s side and our World Cup campaign. It is a game that Scott obviously wants to play in.

“There is no doubt that Scott is benefiting from being injury-free and he has been a key player for Celtic this season. He was getting a lot of stick last year and he wasn’t contributing, but it is a different story now.

“But I think if you say that you have retired from international football and that you don’t want to play for Scotland anymore then that should be you.

“It would be unfair to the players that are there if he was to walk straight back into the team.

“They had to graft through the last few games without Scott, and they have struggled at times. But you can’t have someone saying: ‘I want to play again’ and he comes back into the side.”

Scotland have struggled without the presence of the dynamic Celt in the middle of the park and that was highlighted in the lacklustre 1-1 draw with Lithuania at Hampden and the dreadful 3-0 flop in Slovakia as the Scots carelessly shed five vital World Cup points in their section.

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