Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has welcomed Scott Brown’s decision to come out of international retirement after naming the Celtic skipper in his squad to face England in this month’s crunch World Cup qualifier.
Brown announced this week that he would again be available for Scotland, less than three months after declaring his international career was over.
Strachan said he had no hesitation in bringing the in-form 31-year-old back into his squad as Scotland look to get their Russia 2018 qualification bid back on track at Wembley.
“Scott (Brown) retired in August when he was in a different place to where he is now,” Strachan said.
“At that time it was beneficial for him and Celtic that he retired from international football.
“We respected that but Scott is in a different place now and feels he can help us in our quest to get to a major finals.”
Swansea’s Stephen Kingsley has been called up at left-back with Andrew Robertson and Kieran Tierney both injured.
“We’re happy to have Stephen Kingsley in the squad,” Strachan added.
“He is a player who features in the English Premiership regularly for Swansea and if you do that, you’re not a bad player.”
Hull midfielder Robert Snodgrass was a surprise inclusion in the 25-man squad,after he had been expected to miss the England match with an ankle injury suffered against Stoke on October 22.
Snodgrass had been ruled out for four weeks but Strachan wants to give him every chance to prove his fitness.
“I spoke to him a couple of days ago and he’s desperate to be there,” Strachan added.
“He’s going to do everything that he can. He’s got to get fit for his club and play with them because they need him at the moment, that’s for sure.
“That’s his first priority. Once that’s out of the way then we’ll get things together and see how fit he is. He wants to be in the squad, so that’s why he is in.”
Strachan’s future was the central point of debate after the previous round of World Cup qualifiers, when Scotland drew 1-1 at home to Lithuania before a damaging 3-0 loss in Slovakia.
The results left Scotland three points adrift of Group F leaders England ahead of their November 11 showdown.
“It excites me, it excites the players. I know that for a fact,” Strachan added.
“There’s an edge to this one, which we all enjoy.
“We are in a place now where we are looking forward to that. We’re looking forward to getting some points on the board again.”
Defeat to England would jeopardise Scotland’s qualification bid and, with the pressure on, Strachan admitted Brown and Snodgrass’ inclusions came as he needed the “best players we can get” to secure a result.
The 59-year-old also sidestepped a question asking whether Brown’s return was a one-off, saying: “After the England game itself, there’s always a debrief and hopefully it’s a debrief that we’re all happy with and then after that we’ll decide what the future is for everybody.
“That will be the process for that. At the moment we’ll have a stronger midfield and that’s a bonus for us because we’ll need to be strong there, because we’re going to play against a strong side.
“I think if you look at the England side there’s energy in it, winning the ball back quickly.
“I think there were six or seven Liverpool and Spurs guys playing the last time and they’ve brought what (Jurgen) Klopp and (Mauricio) Pochettino brought to them to the
England side, plus the great players they’ve already got there, so they’re a formidable foe.
“So we need all the best players we can get.”