Scotland boss Alex McLeish says he'd welcome Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths back
By Shona Duthie
Last Updated: 26/12/18 6:07pm
Scotland boss Alex McLeish says he would welcome Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths back with open arms when he returns to football.
Griffiths has taken a break for a number of months due to ongoing personal issues.
The 28-year-old was included in the Scotland squad for the games against Israel and Portugal in October but pulled out to work on his fitness.
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McLeish had previously left the striker out of the starting XI for Scotland's opening Nations League match against Albania, but the former Rangers manager insists there is no animosity between the pair.
"Yeah, of course [on welcoming Leigh back]," McLeish said. "I said to him when I spoke to him a couple of weeks afterwards, people were trying to drive a wedge between us, but I spoke to him.
"I said 'look there are no guarantees and I'd say that to anybody Leigh, but if you are playing at your top level then of course there is going to be a great chance you wear a Scotland jersey again'.
"It was an adult conversation - I have no problems. It is sad to see he has some problems at the moment and I hope he makes a full recovery.
"We are a small nation, we don't have a lot of striking choices and if he's at his best then he is up there with our best finishers in the country."
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said earlier this month it was more than just a "physical injury" with Griffiths.
He said: "It has been ongoing in my time here with Leigh.
"I am very close with him, we have a very strong relationship and he has had a number of issues around outside of the football environment and thankfully for him, there is a great support out there and it is no longer a weakness now to talk."