CELTIC winger Gary Mackay-Steven believes missing out once again on a Scotland call-up might be the best thing for him.
The 24-year-old was overlooked by Gordon Strachan despite his good form for the Hoops since arriving with team-mate Stuart Armstrong from Dundee United during the January transfer window.
Mackay-Steven would have loved to have had the chance of facing Qatar in next month’s friendly and then the Republic of Ireland in the crucial Euro 2016 qualifier in Dubin.
The player was asked about his thoughts on Strachan ignoring him and said: “I’m happy either way. The Scotland squad is obviously an aim for myself, but that will be further down the line.
“My main focus is doing well here and being settled at Celtic and I feel I have done that in the six months I’ve been here.
“If I do well for Celtic then the Scotland situation will look after itself. If anything it makes me want to work harder. I’ll have a nice little break over the summer and then come looking to really hit the ground running.
“In some ways it’s maybe a blessing after the last hectic six months. Obviously, if the call came I’d be very happy to play because that’s what you always want to do – but a break will be nice, too, so I’ll take my chance to recharge the batteries and prepare right for next season.”
Mackay-Steven has enjoyed the changes in his life since quitting Tannadice for Parkhead.
He said: “On every scale you realise what a massive club Celtic is. Even stuff like going to Tesco for your shopping takes more time to get round the aisles for people stopping you.
“I’ve had people looking in my trolley to see what I’m buying to make sure it’s all healthy – but I think my diet’s okay so I got pass marks!
“I remember one time I was getting in a big shop and the check-out lady who was serving wanted an autograph for her son.
“She even offered to put through half my shopping without scanning it – so I politely said no and gave her the autograph.
“It’s nice. People are really friendly and can’t do enough for you, but maybe I should be thinking about ordering my shopping online and getting the messages delivered instead.
“Things like that just makes you realise the scale of the club and how much it affects so many people because of what Celtic means to them.
“It’s a pleasure to be a part of that but it still takes a bit of getting used to at times.”
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