Strachan: Leigh Griffiths calling himself ‘shorty’ was brilliant

The long and short of it: Leigh Griffiths, right, with Celtic team-mate Nir Bitton. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
The long and short of it: Leigh Griffiths, right, with Celtic team-mate Nir Bitton. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
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At 5ft 6in it always seemed unlikely that Gordon Strachan would discriminate against small players.

Nevertheless, the Scotland boss found himself pilloried last month when he tried to explain his tactical thinking about restricting Leigh Griffiths to substitute’s role in the defeat by Slovakia.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan was amused by Leigh Griffiths calling himself "Shorty". Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan was amused by Leigh Griffiths calling himself "Shorty". Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

Strachan pointed out the importance of having height on the pitch to defend set-pieces but feels his comments were taken out of context.

Celtic striker Griffiths measures 5ft 8in and reacted to the furore surrounding his exclusion by changing his Twitter name to “Shorty”.

This amused Strachan greatly as he announced his squad on Wednesday for the World Cup qualifier against England.

Griffiths is included but it remained to be seen if he will start at Wembley on 11 November.

The national coach was giving little away but was keen to clear up any suggestion that he is ‘height-ist’.

“There was no misunderstanding,” Strachan said.

“The Sunday newspapers asked for a tactical brief on certain players and I gave them that. And the Sunday papers were absolutely fantastic.

“Other people take it out of context and try to have fun with it. As a matter of fact, it was funny when Griffiths called himself ‘shorty’.

“I think that’s brilliant. I think anything that makes people laugh, especially in the media, is tremendous. It was really funny, tongue in cheek.

“But can I really be involved in height-ism? Let’s be fair.

“I’m sure I’ve left out a couple of strikers who are actually taller than Griff. They’ll probably be disappointed - they’ll probably be measuring themselves.

“It was take out of context by one or two but we got a laugh out of it.”

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