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Former Rangers ace slams costly decision over Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths

Leigh Griffiths of Celtic celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on September 23, 2017 in...

Billy Dodds says Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths was the key to Scotland making the World Cup.

Leigh Griffiths of Celtic celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on September 23, 2017 in...

Former Scotland and Rangers striker Billy Dodds has labelled Gordon Strachan's lack of faith in Leigh Griffiths as a costly mistake.

The Celtic striker made a big impact in the second half of the World Cup qualifiers, but it was not enough to help Scotland reach the play-offs.

Dodds told BBC Scotland that Griffiths' early omission from the team was in his view, crucial.

Leigh Griffiths of Scotland  celebrates after he scores the second goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Scotland and Malta at Hampden Park on September 4, 2017 in Glasgow,...

He said: "If Leigh Griffiths had started the campaign we probably would have qualified. There were things not right at the start of the campaign, and that's what cost us."

Leigh Griffiths of Celtic in action during a Celtic training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B match against Paris Saint-Germain at Lennoxtown on September 11, 2017 in...

Griffiths missed the first three games of the qualifiers, of which Scotland won only one.

The Celtic forward has been in terrific form over the past three seasons and hit an impressive brace against England at Hampden Park back in June.

Scotland have not qualified for a major tournament since France '98 and failure to beat Slovenia in their final group game proved costly.

Strachan's side finished third in the group, behind Slovakia on goal difference, eight points back from group winners England.

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