KRIS COMMONS has dashed any hopes Scotland supporters had of seeing him back in the national team for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign later this year.
Commons was yesterday named as the SPFL Premiership player of the month for December after an excellent run of form in which he scored seven times for Celtic in all competitions.
His performances and 16 goals, which make him Celtic's top scorer so far this season, had raised hopes that he might reverse the decision he announced last May to retire from the international game. Commons, who has 17 caps, said he wanted to spend more time with his family although within days he was criticised for going on a lads' holiday to Las Vegas and posting a picture on Twitter.
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The decision to relinquish Scottish duties has coincided with a rich vein of form for the playmaker, though, and yesterday he stressed it had allowed him to spend more time at home as well as reducing the risk of injuries. "With what's happened over the last couple of months, with me playing pretty well, people have asked me about changing my mind," he said. "It's probably inevitable that people would ask. But at this minute I wouldn't change my mind, no. It's not something where I'm thinking 'I'd love to be a part of it again'.
"I'm 30 years old now and I want to try and start looking at just solely club football. I want to play in the Champions League again and when you start getting into your 30s you need to starting looking at games and thinking 'I need to protect myself'. I'd hate to pick up injuries and then be out for Celtic for long.
"If I was 23 or 24 it would be a completely different kettle of fish but I'm not, I'm 30 years old, and I want to start protecting my body. I don't want to be picking up injuries and I want to play the best football of my career at Celtic at this point in time."
Sacrificing international commitments had benefited his club performances, he said. "Looking at the my form and the way I'm playing and scoring goals I'd say yes. International football is very demanding, not just playing football but the travelling and being away from your family. When you've got double-headers you could be away for 10 or 11 days. It's not only just challenging - playing, training and travelling - it's being away from your family. You have to take that into consideration. That was one of the main reasons I left."
Although national manager Gordon Strachan had not made contact with him, Commons said the matter was often raised with him by supporters. "A taxi driver asked me yesterday. He asked was I eligible to play and I went 'yeah'. He said it'd be smashing if they could get me in the Scotland set-up. I said 'it'd be nice, eh, I'll wait for that phone call'. He didn't realise I'd played for Scotland!"