Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has revealed that Scott Brown’s international return could be a one-off.
The Celtic skipper has done a U-turn after saying in August that he was giving up playing for his country to concentrate fully on his club.
The news of the comeback was widely welcomed ahead of the all-important World Cup Group F qualifier against England at Wembley in eight days’ time.
Lo and behold, it became official when Brown’s name appeared in the squad announced yesterday by Strachan at Hampden.
What wasn’t clear was whether or not he is back for good or if everything changes again after the English clash.
Strachan insisted no promises had been made by player or manager but the exit door appears to be open for Brown if he wants to use it.
“Between now and the game, we are going to enjoy the challenge and the excitement of it,” said Strachan when asked if Brown’s comeback could last just 90 minutes.
“What happens afterwards is that you get a debrief.
“Then you go: ‘Where do we go from here?’
“I think we will have a clearer picture after the game of where everybody wants to go after that.
“That is what we will be looking at.
“There are no promises of this or that.
“That might be the best way because sometimes you make a decision and you have to go: ‘Oh, I might change my mind again.’
“We will have a look at if after that but it’s good to have him back.
“I was asked the question of whether it would have made a difference to results if he had been playing.
“You never know but when I look at the Slovakia game, our midfield was as good as their midfield for 60 minutes. They did all right there.”
Strachan then revealed how the change of heart by Brown came to his attention.
“You hear rumours in the background,” he said.
“People were speaking to him from within the backroom staff and the word got back from different people that he would like to put his name forward again.
“I said that if Broony wanted to give me a call then fine.
“We did that, spoke, it was done and he was back again.
“There were no promises of a game. No promises of this or that.
“However, he is in a far better place than he was.
“I understood his decision at the time (to retire).
“I respected that and I respect the decision he has made now.”
Strachan claimed he has been inundated with players looking to be involved again ahead of the England match.
He added: “Over the last two weeks, I have had so many players who are not playing for their clubs or coming back from injury saying: ‘Listen, I’m your man if you need me for 20 minutes or something like that.’
“I could have had a squad of 40 – honestly.
“I have had to make some calls this morning, saying: ‘Nah, I cannae have you in the squad just now, maybe because of a lack of fitness or whatever.’
“There was actually one I didn’t get so I had to leave a voicemail, which I don’t like doing.
“It was only at about eight o’clock last night that I put the final names together.”
There was no room for Dundee-born Stoke City playmaker Charlie Adam but there was the surprise inclusion of Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass despite fears he would miss Wembley because of an ankle injury.
Also, it looks like Lee Wallace of Rangers will get the nod at left-back in the absence of both former Dundee United man Andy Robertson and Celtic’s Kieran Tierney.
Asked about Snodgrass’s surprise inclusion, Strachan said: “Everyone is writing him off but he is saying: ‘Don’t write me off.’
“I don’t want him to put anything at risk by trying to push it for us.
“We are all Scotsmen but Hull is where he makes his living. We have told him to calm down.”
As for Wallace, the manager added: “I explained at the last two squads how well Lee Wallace had done.
“I think the two young boys have got terrific futures – and I mean terrific futures.
“But Lee was as good as any of them at training and matches we had.
“That’s saying a lot, because those two are terrific players.
“I’ve not had a sleepless night on that one.”