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Celtic keeps mind off Scotland exile insists Commons

CELTIC midfielder Kris Commons admitted his Scotland career was the last thing on his mind as he prepared for another quiet international week.

As in many games this season, Commons was Celtic's best player as they returned to the top of the Scottish Premier League with a 1-0 home win over Hearts.

The 29-year-old set up Georgios Samaras for a 34th-minute winner with a clever through-ball and was inventive throughout.

But he remains in international exile ahead of Scotland's crucial World Cup double-header against Wales and Belgium.

Commons was last named in a squad for the Carling Nations Cup in May 2011, when he pulled out with a hamstring problem.

Scotland manager Craig Levein has stated that others are ahead of Commons in his position, but many remain baffled as to why the in-form player has not forced his way in after Scotland netted one goal in their opening two home qualifiers.

Commons said: "I think when I first came up to Celtic I probably took it for granted that I would always be in the squad or playing -- it felt like I was just part of the set-up. But now I haven't been involved for a long while, so it's just at the back of my mind.

"I'm just thinking SPL, Champions League football, and I have my wife and kids back home. It's the last thing on my mind just now.

"I think it's probably why I'm playing so well at the minute as I'm focusing all my efforts on Celtic."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon claimed that Commons was in the form of his life, although he was careful not to criticise Levein.

"He, again, was fantastic today. I thought his all-round game was brilliant, he was the avenue for a lot of our good play," Lennon said.

"I'm sure he would help Scotland along the way and I'm sure he would want to help Scotland along the way.

"He has just got to keep performing the way he is and it will be sooner rather than later.

"I have no problem with Craig omitting him, in fact, selfishly, I'm delighted because it will give the wee man a chance to put his feet up for a couple of days."

Charlie Mulgrew and Scott Brown joined up with Scotland today despite fitness issues.

Brown missed the Hearts win due to an ongoing hip complaint while Mulgrew went off with a head knock after colliding with Hearts' goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald, who left the field on a stretcher.


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