Scott Brown Scotland comeback was sparked by ‘banter’

Celtic's Scott Brown is not sure how long his international comeback will last. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Celtic's Scott Brown is not sure how long his international comeback will last. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
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Scott Brown has revealed his international return was sparked by some “banter” - but underpinned by his respect for Scotland manager Gordon Strachan.

However, the 31-year-old will take his time to decide whether his Wembley comeback is a one-off or just the beginning of a prolonged second stint as a Scotland player.

The Celtic midfielder is in the squad to face England next Friday less than three months after announcing his retirement from national team duty.

The former Scotland skipper had second thoughts after making an impressive start to the season and rediscovering peak fitness after being troubled by hamstring issues towards the second half of last season.

And, with his former Celtic boss Strachan under scrutiny after Scotland collected one point from two World Cup qualifiers last month, he did not need much persuading when he came into contact with some Scottish Football Association staff last month.

In an extract from an interview for next week’s Celtic View, which was published on the club’s website, Brown said: “The backroom staff and I were having a bit of banter after I got my 50th cap, asking if I fancied coming back to play in the England game and I just kind of said, ‘Oh yeah, just get the gaffer to phone me’.

“Then the gaffer and I had a wee chat and somehow I’ve ended up coming out of retirement for this game.

“The stuff that Gordon has done for me over the last 10 years of my career, from when he first signed me and brought me to Celtic, turned me into the player I am now and I’ve got a lot of respect for him. I admire him as a manager and he has led me a lot on the field as well as off it.”

Scotland’s subsequent qualifier after the Auld Enemy clash comes on March 27 against Slovenia, giving Brown plenty of time to ponder his next move.

“I don’t know how many games it’s going to be for, whether it’s just this one-off game or we’ll just take it from there but I’m coming back for this game and we’ll see how my legs are and see how everything is,” he said.

“First and foremost, for me, my club form is more important than anything. The way I’m feeling and playing just now, I need to try to continue that as long as I possibly can. After this game I’ll have a base to be able to see if I can continue to push myself with international and Celtic games.

“We’ll play England, then see out November, and then Celtic play nine games in December, so it’s going to be hard and a tight schedule but I’ll need to see where my body is from there.

“I’ll know in my head how I feel. I’ll know personally after the game. There’s not another Scotland game until March and that lets me figure out a lot about myself and how my body is going to take the battering with no rest.”