Scott Brown has jumped to the defence of team-mate Leigh Griffiths’ and praised the striker’s bravery in opting to pull out of the Scotland squad, Sky Sports reports.

Griffiths chose to withdraw from the squad for Scotland’s upcoming UEFA Nations League fixture against Israel and friendly game against Portugal in order to focus on getting back to full fitness.

Celtic captain Brown spoke to back Griffiths’ decision and hailed him as the best striker in the country with fully fit.

It’s brave of the wee man to do that because he wants to work on his fitness, he wants to come in here, he wants to do better.

Maybe going away with Scotland he’s not going to get the game time that he was going to expect and the training wouldn’t be as hard because of the two games coming up.

Steve Welsh/Getty Images Sport

I think Scotland and Celtic need him to be as fit as he possibly can be for the whole season and he’s probably done the best thing for him to be as sharp as possible.

As soon as he is, he’s the best striker in Scotland by far. He scores goals and that’s why he keeps playing in the team, but he just needs that little bit of break.

We need to stop giving him a lot of flak and start praising him a little bit for what he’s done over the last three or four years for Celtic and for Scotland.