Celtic player Gary Mackay-Steven has told the Glasgow Evening Times what he feels is the main effect of missing out on the latest Scotland squad for him personally.
The Bhoys star was overlooked by Gordon Strachan for the upcoming match against Qatar but has played down the significance of the decision, explaining that it motivates him to become a better player.
“I'm happy either way. The Scotland squad is obviously an aim for myself but that will be further down the line. My main focus is doing well here and being settled at Celtic,” he said.
“If I do well for Celtic then the Scotland situation will look after itself. If anything it makes me want to work harder. I'll have a nice little break over the summer and then come looking to really hit the ground running.”
Mackay-Steven has been in very good form since he joined Ronny Deila’s side from Dundee United over the winter.
It was initially difficult for him to force his way ahead of other players in the pecking order but slowly his quality became obvious and he got used to the pace, pressure and expectation involved with the current side.
If he gets his head down, works hard and is consistent with his performances, eventually the call from Strachan will come.
Celtic will then benefit from having another player exposed at international level, which will allow him to increase his quality from playing against a variety of international opponents.
The worst thing for Deila and Celtic would be if Mackay-Steven took the decision personally and let it get to him, but he’s using it in the perfect way and that’s to set the record straight.