SCOTLAND skipper Scott Brown reckons that the Celtic majority in the new look Scotland side have brought with them a style of play and a winning mentality that made the Scottish Champions the Invincibles last season.
Celtic ‘suffered’ four draws in their league campaign last season and on each occasion they reckoned that they were unlucky to drop points rather than fortunate to come away with a share of the spoils. Leigh Griffiths was denied a stonewall penalty against Rangers in March by Bobby Madden in the final minutes with the game level at 1-1. Ross County conned a late penalty themselves in Dingwall to take the game to 2-2. Back in September Celtic conceded late at Inverness after dominating a game that ended 2-2 and Patrick Thistle got a point at Celtic Park with Scott Sinclair missing a penalty late on that would have won the game.
These things matter to Brown, his manager Brendan Rodgers and the entire Celtic squad.
Yet it was the Celtic connection that almost turned defeat into victory against England at Hampden back in June – who will ever forget the feeling when Leigh Griffiths scored that second free kick – only for the same Celts to eventually conspire to gift England a heart breaking last grasp equalizers.
Stuart Armstrong just had to boot the ball out the park or up field and that was that…
That was then, and it does contribute to the 7 points from 9 taken by Scotland since a desperate Gordon Strachan turned to there Bhoys to try to rescue a failing, faltering qualifying campaign.
And Brown reckons that was a great move by the Scotland boss.
“We want to keep possession, make them work hard, and we’re lucky enough at Celtic that we’ve got a team who can do that and now we’ve got a team who can do it at Scotland as well.
“At Celtic I want to win every game and we managed to go through last season unbeaten and that now is the aim with Scotland now we’ve been fantastic in the last three games.
“We just need to keep improving and keep working because you don’t want to get too stale because you can start believing your own hype.
“It’s been great since Friday after a good performance, the way the gaffer wanted us to play Getting the goals and keeping a clean sheet made it a great night.
“We definitely now believe that the group has something for us. We could do with England doing us a wee favour, right enough. But we take our game first.”
“The momentum is building and the win in Lithuania was a huge result because everyone said it was make or break for us.
“We managed to step up and win it 3-0 and we need to push on from there. I watched the first Malta game in the house and we had a lot of the ball over there and they’ll sit in and make it hard.
“It took England until the 53rd minute to score their first goal against them so they’re a team who will be hard to break down and they’ll try and catch us on the counter attack.”
Brown is looking for something extra-special from Griffiths, who is back at Hampden for the first time since giving the nation those wonderful moments on June 10.
“The wee man is phenomenal. He’s maturing into a great player. He holds the ball up so well.
“You say against England when he was able to do that against England even though he was up against £50 million players.
“He’s not the biggest but he was bullying them.
“His belief is his biggest attribute. He believes he can score in every single game and I hope he does.”