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CELTIC HERO SHOOTS DOWN GRIFFITHS CLAIM

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CHRIS SUTTON insists Steve Clarke was absolutely correct to leave Leigh Griffiths out of his Scotland squad for next month’s Euros.

The Celtic striker was hoping the international boss might take a gamble on the 30-year-old forward who has scored a meagre seven goals this season.

Griffiths scored one of the penalty-kicks against Serbia in Belgrade in November that saw the Scots win through to their first major tournament finals since the World Cup in France in 1998.

After getting off to a false start to the campaign following a public rift with Neil Lennon, the frontman struggled for game-time.

However, there were a few observers who believed his experience could sway Clarke into giving him a place in his 26-player squad.

But Hibs’ exciting prospect Kevin Nisbet got one of the striking slots beside first-choice Che Adams, of Southampton, and Queens Park Rangers’ Lyndon Dykes.

Parkhead goal hero Sutton, speaking on BT Sport’s Scottish Football Extra, said: “Leigh Griffiths? We keep hearing this argument: ‘He’s the best finisher’.

“Fact of the matter is you’re going into a major tournament, what if something happens to Dykes? What if something happens to Adams?

“They get injured, can Leigh Griffiths then go and play 90 minutes? That’s not going to happen.

“Steve Clarke has got that call spot on.”

Griffiths is due to come out of contract a week on Monday.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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