Griffiths rules himself out of Scotland squad

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Griffiths wants to focus on his fitness. Photo Credit: Wikipedia.

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has withdrawn from Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad in a bid to improve his fitness.

The forward, who has scored four times for his country, was named in the initial squad that will face Israel on Thursday on the UEFA Nations League.

There had been reports that the 28-year-old striker had fallen out with McLeish after he was left on the bench in last month’s contest against Albania, but the Scotland manager insists the decision to withdraw was entirely down to Griffiths.

In a statement released by the Scottish Football Association, Griffiths declared he’d love to play for Scotland again should he be selected.

He said: “I had a good discussion with the manager to explain my decision. It’s not one that I’ve made lightly.

“It means a lot to me to play for Scotland and I hope to be part of Alex’s plans again in future, if selected.”

Scotland will play Portugal at Hampden Park on Sunday following their away trip to Israel. The side sit top of Group One in the UEFA Nations League courtesy of a 2-0 win over Albania in September, a game in which Griffiths was dropped to the bench.

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