DCSIMG

Scotland: Griffiths ‘had messages over decision’

Leigh Griffiths was not named in the original squad for the games against the United States and Norway. Picture: SNS

Leigh Griffiths was not named in the original squad for the games against the United States and Norway. Picture: SNS

  • by ALAN PATTULLO
 

GORDON Strachan yesterday sought to ease Leigh Griffiths’ fears after the Wolves striker expressed his disappointment at being overlooked for a Scotland call-up against Norway tonight.

However, the Scotland manager did advise Griffiths to turn his mobile phone on after he was frustrated in his attempts to get hold of the striker over the weekend.

Griffiths, who started back to back qualifiers against Croatia and Belgium earlier this year, was not named in the original squad for the games against the United States and Norway. However, he hoped to have been called up after Jordan Rhodes withdrew with injury and the later departures of Steven Fletcher and Ross McCormack.

However, Kilmarnock’s Kris Boyd was called up instead and Griffiths tweeted his dissatisfaction: “gutted with 3 call offs I ain’t got called up to the squad”.

“I’ve left a message for him so he knows why he wasn’t included,” said Strachan yesterday. “You can’t get to Leigh, though: I’ve left three voicemail messages for him.

“He’s always under consideration for a place and I spoke to everyone whom I felt deserved a ‘phone call and an explanation because of the work they’ve done for us previously. But it’s like Boyd – there are no doors shut on anyone here unless they shut them themselves.”

Wolves manager Kenny Jackett defended Griffiths following his Sunday night tweet and backed the striker to regain his place in the Scotland squad.

The striker is expected to play for his club in tonight’s FA Cup first-round replay against Oldham, and Jackett said: “We do say to the players to be careful what they tweet and make them aware of that.

“But the other side of it is that this is a free country and someone who is 22, that is the way of expressing themselves.

“The best thing he can do is go out and get another ten goals and keep knocking on the door.

“He has had a taste of it and he knows he can get in there, that is one good thing. It is not like he has always been out or never been into it. So he has had a taste and now he has to be doubly determined to try and get back into the squad.

“If he does well and we do well and get up into the Championship then I think that will look after any Scotland situation.

“He is young enough to be able to come through and prove himself again. At least he knows it is open for him and they are aware of him.”

 

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