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Stuart Armstrong proves a big hit with Gordon Strachan

By Gavin McCafferty

Gordon Strachan feels Stuart Armstrong has played his way into the Scotland squad by becoming a key player for Celtic - just like his Parkhead team-mate Leigh Griffiths.

The uncapped Armstrong was named in Strachan's squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Georgia and Germany after an impressive first six months at Parkhead and Strachan praised Griffiths for making himself a success after looking like he was on his way out of Celtic Park a year ago.

On Armstrong, Strachan said: "I have been impressed for a while because about two years ago he was in a squad. He has always been on the radar. It shouldn't be a big surprise to anyone because he has been doing well at a high level.

"He looks comfortable at the level he is playing in and he is becoming a major figure in games."

As well as aiming for his international debut, the former Dundee United midfielder is hoping to secure Champions League football when Celtic face Malmo in Sweden on Tuesday night and Strachan believes the 23-year-old can thrive further.

He said: "Hopefully the quality of teams they are going to play against in the next few months will be even higher than the teams they are playing against now.

"It's also just dealing with the big-game mentality, dealing with the pressure, dealing with the crowds. That's something the boys at Celtic have to deal with all the time and Stuart, as far as I can see, is dealing with that well now."

Griffiths signalled he could excel at the top level of European football by netting twice in the first leg against Malmo.

Belfast Telegraph


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