Commons not worried over Scotland

  • Last Updated: October 8 2012, 10:31 BST

Celtic midfielder Kris Commons admitted his Scotland career was the last thing on his mind as he prepared for another quiet international week.

Kris Commons: Focusing efforts on Celtic

As in many games this season, Commons was Celtic's best player as they returned to the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with a 1-0 home win over Hearts.

The 29-year-old set up Georgios Samaras for a 34th-minute winner with a clever through-ball and was inventive throughout.

But he remains in international exile ahead of Scotland's crucial World Cup double header against Wales and Belgium.

Commons was last named in a squad for the Carling Nations Cup in May 2011, when he pulled out with a hamstring problem after citing exhaustion.

Scotland manager Craig Levein has stated that others are ahead of Commons in his position, but many remain baffled as to why the in-form player has not forced his way in after Scotland netted one goal in their opening two home qualifiers.

Commons told the Celtic programme: "I think when I first came up to Celtic I probably took it for granted that I would always be in the squad or playing - it felt like I was just part of the set-up.

"But now I haven't been involved for a long while, so it's just at the back of my mind.

"I'm just thinking SPL, Champions League football, and I have my wife and kids back home. It's the last thing on my mind just now.

"I think it's probably why I'm playing so well at the minute as I'm focusing all my efforts on Celtic."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon claimed that Commons was in the form of his life, although he was eager not to criticise Levein.

"He again was fantastic today, I thought his all-round game was brilliant, he was the avenue for a lot of our good play," Lennon said. "He had a great ball in for Samaras but some of his other play was of exceptionally high standard."

"I'm sure he would help Scotland along the way and I'm sure he would want to help Scotland along the way.

"He has just got to keep performing the way he is and it will be sooner rather than later.

"I have no problem with Craig omitting him, in fact selfishly I'm delighted because it will give the wee man a chance to put his feet up for a couple of days.

"He is disappointed, who wouldn't be? It's a natural feeling, he would like to play, but on the flip side of that his wife is heavily pregnant and he has two young kids as well, so he is maybe grateful he can spend more time with family at this stage."

Charlie Mulgrew and Scott Brown join up with Scotland today despite fitness issues.

Brown missed the win over Hearts because of his ongoing hip complaint while Mulgrew went off with a head knock after a collision with Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald, who left the field on a stretcher. Both players recovered quickly though.

Peter Enckelman replaced MacDonald and was disappointed to let Samaras' shot in under his body.

"I thought it was a bit soft from my point of view," the former St Johnstone goalkeeper said.

"I was a bit cross with myself there."


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