SCOTT BROWN last night applauded the Scottish FA for appointing Gordon Strachan as Scotland manager, even if he concedes that the delay was becoming concerning.

"I'm delighted, it's a great move," said Brown, who won the first of his 29 caps under Walter Smith in 2005. "It was about time that they named a manager and they couldn't have picked anyone better. We have all been hoping it would be him.

"The bookies made him favourite and, at that point, I spoke to a few of the lads who played under him and we all agreed it would be great if he was appointed. With the delay there was always the chance he could have been offered a job somewhere else but I feel he would have wanted this job so much that he'd have been prepared to wait."

Loading article content

Strachan has already made regaining the winning thread his immediate priority and Brown believes he has the qualifications to ensure this is not simply rhetoric. "He'll bring a maturity to the squad, confidence too, as well as a real will to win both home and away," is his assessment of the man who brought him to Celtic from Hibernian in 2007. "We'll be solid in all areas and I'm optimistic.

"Strachan did a lot for my career," added Brown. "He showed a lot of faith in me. He's a great man-manager who knows how to handle big-time players as well as players coming through."

Brown accepts not all the blame for the disappointments of the last few years lies at the door of previous manager Craig Levein. "It's not all down to the man in charge," he said. "A lot of it has to come down to the players on the park because, whoever steps out on to the pitch needs to get the pride back to Scotland."

Brown's team-mate, Kris Commons, is another Scotland player who will appreciate a new era after the problems he encountered during Levein's reign. However, the midfielder accepts he must prove himself again to retain his place in the Scotland squad.

The imminent signing of Tom Rogic will ensure Commons is fully focused as the competition for the position just behind the front line in the Celtic team is about to be much tougher. The 20- year-old left-sided attacking midfielder from Central Coast Mariners has already made an big impression on Commons at the training camp in Spain.

"I've seen him train once, and he has plenty of ability. He will probably fit in nicely. It is always nice to have healthy competition because I think it makes you better. But I don't think the gaffer would see it as competition, just a team getting better and better."