Hibs boss Neil Lennon insists Celtic captain Scott Brown’s retirement u-turn is huge boost for Scotland



Hibs head coach Neil Lennon insists Celtic captain Scott Brown’s decision to come out of international retirement is a significant boost for Scotland.

The 31-year-old is set to make himself available for the crunch November 11 World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley after only announcing that he would step back from Scotland duty in August.

Lennon managed the dynamic midfielder at Celtic and is in no doubt that the former Hibs player will enhance Gordon Strachan’s squad.

18/08/2016 THE ORIAM - EDINBURGH The opening of the new improved Oriam Neil Lennon (left) is shown around the facilities

Lennon said: “That is a huge boost for Scotland. I would think that having Brownie back in the Scotland squad and playing the way he is would be huge fillip for the squad, for the fans and for Gordon as well.

“He probably looked at last season when he was picking up injuries and playing with injuries, it was taking its toll on him but he looks really fresh this season and is playing very, very well – far more like the Scott we know.

“He played brilliantly for me for a number of seasons and it looks like he’s back to playing that way again.

“I think the majority of the players will know him and will probably welcome him back with open arms because he’s playing with a presence and a drive and I think that’s probably been missing a little bit from the Scotland team.”

Brown, who has been replaced as Scotland captain by West Brom midfielder Darren Fletcher, returns to a national team that has made a stuttering start to their Group F qualifying campaign but Lennon insists the 50-times capped player can inspire a turn around in the side’s fortunes.

Scotland have only picked up four points from three games following the recent draw with Lithuania and heavy 3-0 defeat to Slovakia.

He added: “I didn’t see the Lithuania game but by all accounts Scotland should have won the game.

“Whether Scott’s input might have made a difference I don’t know, but certainly the Slovakia game, having him in there might have made a difference in terms of being that little bit more solid in midfield.

“The legs he brings to the team and the energy.

“And he’s playing very, very well. He’s injury-free and you can see that in his body. He looks very strong at the minute, really physically strong.”