Leigh Griffiths’ return to top form couldn’t have come at a better time for Scotland.
That is the view of someone who knows the Celtic striker better than most – Dundee boss James McPake.
McPake played with Griffiths at both Livingston and Hibs and is only too aware of how fondly “Sparky” is remembered at Dens Park.
So it was nice for the Dark Blues’ boss to see Griffiths, who has suffered from mental health problems that endangered his career, bang in a hat-trick for Celtic against St Mirren on Saturday.
With the Scots facing Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final on March 26, McPake feels the timing of the Hoops hitman’s return is ideal for the nation.
He said: “I am delighted for Leigh and I have spoken to him on and off about how he is.
“I saw him come through the youth ranks at Livingston and then when he was an even bigger kid at Hibs at times!
“He is a great boy, down-to-earth and there is a lot behind the scenes that people don’t see because he is a good type.
“I have a soft spot for Leigh and the one thing you know is that if you get him right he will score you goals.
“We should be right behind him as a nation because he is definitely the best Scottish striker.
“You saw the two freekicks against England when Gordon Strachan was the manager.
“He is up there with (his Celtic teammate) Odsonne Edouard and Alfredo Morelos (of Rangers). A fully-fit Griffiths will score as many goals as they will.
“Hopefully, he will be in the Scotland squad and he can transfer his Celtic form onto the international front at a crucial time.”