THIS week will be dominated by thoughts of international commitments as Scott Brown aims to engineer a way past England at Hampden on Saturday evening.

Gordon Strachan’s side take on the Auld Enemy in a FIFA World Cup qualifier that could inject life into a campaign that looked dead and buried before it had barely got off the ground.

But while Brown will play a pivotal role at Hampden, the midfielder has insisted that his thoughts this summer are not likely to stray too far from his summer duties to club football.

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The decision of Brown to revive his international career means that he will get 10 days’ holiday before he reports back to Lennoxtown for pre-season, not that he is complaining.

“I think we all know how crucial the qualifiers are,” he said. “We know what we have to do this summer and although it means a short break, we know what is at stake for the club.

“We are back and straight into the qualifiers so we all have our programmes to stick to and know what we have to do in order that we go back ready to hit the ground running.

“I am really looking forward to the game against England at Hampden because historically it has always been a huge fixture and it is a chance for us to go and get something from the game. But it is fair to say that making sure we are back in tip-top condition for the qualifiers is so important.”

Brown missed qualifiers for the group stage of the Champions League in 2014 when a hamstring injury sustained in a pre-season game ruled him out. And while these games are tense affairs, Brown would rather be in the thick of it than looking on from the stand.

“Those games when I was out and watching were far tougher than actually being out playing,” he said. “At least when you are involved in the games you feel like you have an influence; that you can do something to affect the outcome.

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“But when I was sitting watching the boys go through it, it was murder. It is probably the most nervous I have been watching games because you know what the prize is on offer and you are just so desperate to get there.”

Celtic were back in the group stage of the Champions League last year after a three-year absence, with Brown determined that the club get there again. The past few months have brought the achievements of the Lisbon Lions into sharp focus once again and the club captain has insisted that the way the bar has been set at Celtic means the current crop of players feel a responsibility to maintain their tradition in Europe’s elite tournament.

“I was part of some of the tributes to the Lions and what these guys achieved will always be there,” he said. “But for us as players, that is something that we are always aware of. We know that the club should always be represented at that level and there is an onus on us to make sure that we get into the group stages.

“For a lot of the boys here, last year was the first time they had played in the competition at that stage. Hopefully if we can get through the qualifiers then we can show what we have taken as a group from that experience.”

There are six Celtic players in Strachan’s squad for this weekend’s qualifier at Hampden and Brown believes that having the nucleus of a winning team can only enhance Scotland’s prospects.

“I think we have fostered a club mentality at Scotland and that can only help us,” he said. “We know one another’s game so well and it is good to have that at international level.

“The spirit within the team is good and hopefully we can take that into the game.”