CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers has admitted he urged Stuart Armstrong to maintain his Celtic form during his Scotland debut in the 1-0 win over Slovenia last weekend.

The 25-year-old midfielder was rewarded for an outstanding season with the Hoops when Gordon Strachan selected him in for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park.

The victory kept qualifying hopes alive and Armstrong returned to Celtic Park, along with Scotland team-mates Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown, James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths, to prepare for the trip to Tynecastle tomorrow where victory over Hearts will clinch the club’s sixth successive Premiership title.

Rodgers said: “I was delighted for Stuart. I sent him a message before the game telling him not to think any more or less and not to prepare any more or less than what you always do.

“Don’t overthink it. Just go and play your game and go and work well. 

“I said a few months back, he’s got all the ingredients for the top level with his technique and his physicality.

“He’s become mentally stronger and coping with the pressures of playing at a big club and obviously ultimately international level as well.

“Tactically, he’s playing in different systems, he’s becoming more flexible and his knowledge of the game allows him to perform at a higher level.

“So, I thought he was outstanding. There were areas of his game he could have been better in, but overall he’s delighted with how the week went.”

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