GORDON Strachan believes omitting the majority of the Celtic contingent from his Scotland squad for the friendlies with Italy and France will prove beneficial for both the Parkhead club and the national team.

Scott Brown, Craig Gordon, Leigh Griffiths and Kieran Tierney have all been left out of Strachan’s 27 man pool for the matches in Ta’Qali, Malta, on May 29, and Metz, France, on June 4.

Only Charlie Mulgrew, who has spent two lengthy spells out of action during the 2015/16 campaign with a hamstring tendon problem, has been called up for the meetings with the Euro 2016 finalists.

But Strachan envisages the time off will be invaluable for Brown, the Celtic and Scotland captain, and his team mates ahead of their Champions League qualifiers and the opening Russia 2018 qualifying matches next season.

“I think it benefits both the country and Celtic,” he said. “I think we all would like to see our teams doing far better in Europe. It was just an idea to try something that might benefit everybody.

“There are guys who have been playing non-stop and they come along here and have played 50 or 60 games. That’s no real benefit to them.

“The benefit comes with clearing up injuries to the guys who have been at the top of the league and played more pressure games. That was the thought behind it and it was the same with Aberdeen.

“Just having players in Europe helps; dealing with Europe, travelling, how these teams play. Look at the squad, none of them play in Europe. It’s some going to pick an international side where no one plays in Europe. Only five of them play in the top leagues.”

Brown, who has been left out of Celtic’s final three Ladbrokes Premiership games, has admitted he needs time off and Strachan is hopeful not being involved will allow the combative central midfielder to regain full fitness.

“When we had him in a couple of previous squads I watched him in training and thought, ‘you are playing with an injury, there is something wrong with you,” he said. “You say to him ‘have a rest’ and it’s ‘no, no, no’. So the rest is basically for his own good.

“If I gave him the choice he would be along, but I think 30 is no age at all these days. That is no age whatsoever for a top player to still be playing at the highest level. So hopefully this will benefit him and Celtic. If it can help an individual get over a couple of niggling injuries for these two sides that’s fine.”