Steven Fletcher, the Sunderland striker, believes he is approaching the peak of his powers ahead of Scotland's Euro 2016 qualifier against Ireland next Friday.

The 27-year-old was yesterday named in a 27-man squad alongside fellow forwards Chris Martin, Stevie May and Steven Naismith as Gordon Strachan announced his selections for the encounter at Celtic Park.

Fletcher's inclusion was confirmed less than 24 hours after the towering forward had produced a match-winning performance against Crystal Palace in the Barclays Premier League, scoring twice in a 3-1 win.

Having battled back from the ankle and achilles injuries which had plagued his previous two campaigns, the £12m man said he felt he was almost back to his best. "I definitely think things are starting to click for me," said Fletcher, who boasts four goals in his last four games at club level.

"I went through a hard spell - probably one of the toughest periods of my career - with injuries and a drop in form in the last couple of years. But I feel really good at the moment, I feel sharp and if I'm scoring goals then I am always happy."

Fletcher opened the scoring with a trademark header at Selhurst Park on Monday night.

The former Hibernian, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley front-man then made the game safe with his second goal of the evening after some busy work from fellow Scotland international Liam Bridcutt.

"I enjoyed the game against Palace, particularly my first goal," he said with a smile. It was quite similar to last year at Selhurst Park, so I was really happy with that. Thankfully, the boys have provided me with a few opportunities.

"Liam came on and did brilliantly for my second goal. He has pushed and pressed them and nicked the ball high up the park. If you can steal possession there, then you are always going to get a chance."

Sunderland's triumph lifted Gus Poyet's side out of the Premier League relegation zone and into 15th spot, leaving Fletcher in buoyant mood ahead of the upcoming international break. Scotland also play England in a friendly on November 18.

"It was a massive three points. We knew going into the game that we needed to show a bit of character and that we wouldn't lie down," he added.