Leigh Griffiths: Celtic forward believes he did not deserve to make Scotland's Euros squad

Leigh Griffiths scored one of Scotland's penalties in their victory over Serbia that booked them a place in the Euros, but struggled for game time at Celtic last season; "I was disappointed, but from my point of view I don't think I deserved a place in the squad," he told Sky Sports

SNS - Andy Robertson claps the Scotland fans after the Czech Republic game 4:23
Leigh Griffiths says Scotland must be better in front of goal when they face England, after squandering a number of chances in their opening defeat to the Czech Republic

Leigh Griffiths says he didn't deserve a place in Scotland's squad for the Euros after playing a "bit-part" at Celtic last season.

Griffiths, who scored one of Scotland's penalties in their shootout victory over Serbia that booked them a place in this summer's tournament, struggled for game time at Celtic under Neil Lennon and latterly John Kennedy last term.

The 30-year-old says he was disappointed not to get the call from Steve Clarke to be part of Scotland's first major tournament since 1998, but believes the players who have been selected "fully deserve" their places.

"I was disappointed, but from my point of view I don't think I deserved a place in the squad," Griffiths told Sky Sports.

"Other boys have have been playing the full season and I've been playing bit-part at Celtic.

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Scott McTominay says Scotland have to believe in themselves and 'enjoy the moment' against England

"If I got in the squad I would have been delighted but I think the boys that are in there just now, especially the strikers and the forward players, they fully deserve it."

Scotland face England at Wembley on Friday night needing at least point to give themselves a realistic chance to progress in Group D after defeat to Czech Republic on Monday.

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The last Scotsman to score against the Auld Enemy was Griffiths, who curled two long-range free-kicks past Joe Hart in a Russia 2018 qualifier at Hampden in 2017, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

"The first one obviously was an important one for me because it was my first goal for Scotland," Griffiths said.

"Then to do it a couple of minutes later, emotions took the better of me - I think I did half a lap of the pitch! It was great, but ultimately we didn't get the result we wanted.

Scotland's Leigh Griffiths celebrates his second goal
Image: Leigh Griffiths scored two goals against England in 2017

"We went from an extreme high to an extreme low in the space of a minute and a half.

"The boys have got a chance to rectify that [Friday], it's a massive game for us and we need to go down there looking for three points."

Griffiths' Celtic future is uncertain, with the club yet to activate the one-year option attached to the end of the three-year deal he signed in 2018, but he says he is determined to stay and fight for a place after "positive" talks with new manager Ange Postecoglou.

"I spoke to the manager Tuesday morning and things seemed positive," Griffiths said.

England manager Gareth Southgate has urged his players to go long at times 0:42
Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane assess the significance of the occasion and how England can use the energy of their fans against Scotland at Wembley

"We'll have another chat at the beginning of next week when he's out of isolation and then we'll take it from there.

"It was a massive thing for him just to give me a phone. He didn't have to but he took time out of his day to give me a phone and gave me his ideas and his plans moving forward.

"It was a positive chat. When he's back out of isolation we'll have a chat face-to-face and see where we're at.

"There is still a lot to come for me, I am only 30 years old, I've still got a lot of years left."

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 11: Celtic Forward Leigh Griffiths  during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown on May 11, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Griffiths says he is working hard to return from the summer in top condition following repeated question marks over his fitness last season.

"I'm working every day. It was well documented I didn't come into pre-season after the last lockdown in the best of shape, and it's been touted again this season. I'm working very hard and we'll see what happens in a few weeks," he said.

"People say I'm not fit enough to play games but I don't think I missed a training session for the last six months. I was always on the bench, I never missed a game and if Celtic ever called upon me I was fit and available to go.

"People that keep saying I wasn't fit enough to play games is crazy to me, but it is what it is. People are always going to have their own opinion."

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