STUART ARMSTRONG is poised to make his full Scotland international debut in the crucial World Cup qualifier against Slovenia at Hampden a week on Sunday.
And the rejuvenated midfielder is likely to team up with his Celtic skipper Scott Brown in his country’s engine room as they pursue three much-needed points.
Scots boss Gordon Strachan insists a change in his character on the field has played a key role in transforming the player.
He said: “I think he’s a different personality now. He has become a personality on the football field. He has enjoyed being that personality.
“I think what he wanted to do before, and I might be wrong, is be a good team player. But he had more than that in him.
“What he is trying to do now is be the best player on the pitch first and then be a good team player.
“I think it was the other way about before. This personality has grown.
“The fact he has been with Celtic. It has not gone all that smoothly. It hasn’t been a great time for him. He has had to take a few knocks, get on with it, come back.
“That has improved his character. His character has been built up and he has been a big personality on the pitch.
“He was just a lovely fellow. Me and my wife went to a dinner and he made an acceptance speech and we all went what a lovely lad he is, but I’m afraid we have to turn into devils on the pitch and my wife said: ‘I know that’.
“So, you don’t have to be a devil, but there has to be a devil inside you or this personality devil, and I think that personality has grown because he joined Celtic and had to deal with what comes with that.”
Strachan continued: “He has moved position. hat is the first thing you have got to get right because the position that he was in previously was wide in a three at times. That has changed.
“He has gone to that central midfield position which I always thought was his best. He has an engine that means he runs into positions and picks the ball up.
“Some people stand in positions, he runs into positions.
“He runs beyond strikers as well which is good. He has got the taste for goals now which is why he has come to the fore.
“When you score goals you get recognised.
“Stuart had five shots on Sunday and all five were on target and that’s good going.”
It is unlikely either Armstrong or Brown will feature in the friendly match against Canada at Easter Road a week tomorrow..
The Celtic players in the extended 30-man squad will be granted some extra recuperation time after their visit to Dundee on Sunday.
Strachan added: “It will probably be a day and half before they are ready to do something.
“I would rather be ready with the lads on the Monday, so they will probably not be playing. That is why the squad is a bit bigger.
“There are also one or two grumbling injuries that players have had that we know about. You protect that, as well.
“I thought it was better to have everybody in the squad, rather than have a smaller number and then calling people in.”