Leigh Griffiths says he didn’t deserve a spot on the Scottish squad for the European Championship after playing a “minor role” at Celtic last season.
Griffiths, who scored one of Scotland’s penalties in the penalty shoot-out against Serbia that secured him a place for the tournament this summer, battled for time at Celtic last season under Neil Lennon and most recently John Kennedy.
The 30-year-old says he was disappointed not having received Steve Clarke’s call to play in Scotland’s first major tournament since 1998, but believes the selected players “fully” deserve their seats.
“I was disappointed, but from my point of view I don’t think I deserve a place in the squad,” Griffiths told Sky Sports.
“Other guys played all season and I played a small role at Celtic.
“If I had got into the squad I would have been happy, but I think the guys who are in right now, especially the strikers and strikers, deserve it.”
Scotland will face England on Friday evening at Wembley Stadium and need at least one point to have a realistic chance of progressing to Group D after losing to the Czech Republic on Monday.
The last Scot to score against the Auld Enemy was Griffiths, who took two free kicks from a distance past Joe Hart in a 2017 Russia 2018 qualifier at Hampden, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
“The first was obviously an important one for me because it was my first goal for Scotland,” said Griffiths.
“A few minutes later, the emotions overwhelmed me – I think I did half a lap! It was great, but in the end we didn’t get the result we wanted.”
“We went from an extreme high to an extreme low in a minute and a half.
“The guys have a chance to correct that [Friday]”It’s a huge game for us and we have to look for three points there.”
Griffiths’ Celtic future is uncertain as the club has yet to activate the one-year option at the end of the three-year deal he signed in 2018, but he says he is determined to stay and fight for a spot after “positives”. speaks to the new manager Ange Postecoglou.
“I spoke to the manager Tuesday morning and things seemed positive,” Griffiths said.
“We’ll have another call early next week when he’s out of isolation, and then we’ll take it over from there.
“It was a huge deal for him to just give me a phone. He didn’t have to, but he took the time to give me a phone and gave me his ideas and his plans for the future.
“It was a positive conversation. When he’s out of isolation again, we’ll talk in person and see where we stand.
“There is still a lot to come, I’m only 30 years old, I still have many years to go.”
Griffiths says he is working hard to get back in tip-top shape from the summer after his fitness was repeatedly questioned last season.
“I work every day. It’s well documented that I didn’t get into pre-season at my best after the last lockdown, and it was touted again this season. I’m working very hard and we’ll see what happens in a couple of weeks, “he said.
“People say I’m not fit enough to play games but I don’t think I’ve missed a training session in the last six months. I’ve always been on the bench, I haven’t missed a game and if Celtic ever did me called, it was me. ” fit and ready to drive.
“I think people who keep saying I’m not fit enough to play games are crazy, but it is what it is. People will always have their own opinions.”