STUART ARMSTRONG doesn't regret his decision to quit Celtic in the summer, saying that it was the right time for a fresh challenge.

The midfielder signed for Southampton for a fee of £7million after helping Brendan Rodgers' side to their second-successive treble, and is quietly going about making an impression since his move south, starting two of their four Premier League fixtures so far and featuring from the bench in the other two.

He admits that he is still adjusting to an environment where he isn’t necessarily expected to win every match as he was in Glasgow, but he is sure he has made the right choice after the novelty of the Scottish game had somewhat worn thin.

“It’s different,” he said. “It’s always challenging when you go to a new team, a new environment. It has taken a bit of time to get used to the different styles. But it’s a fresh challenge and I’m excited about that.

“Because I was Dundee United and then Celtic, it was eight years of playing the same teams over and over again. The fixture list [in England] excites me, going to these new places, new stadiums that you have watched on the TV and been to as a young boy. That’s exciting.

“The time was right. The summer before, I had some thoughts about it, but I had had one season with Brendan Rodgers, and I wanted another. I knew in the back of my head that, ultimately, the time would come when I wanted a fresh challenge, and if I didn’t take it, I would probably have regretted it. It was about changing for a bit of experience and trying something new.”

Armstrong is back in Scotland this week on international duty. Being good friends with Andy Robertson after their time together at Dundee United earlier in their careers, the choice to room with the Liverpool star seemed like a perfectly sensible one. That was until his roommate was announced as the new Scotland captain, that is.

Armstrong joked that the armband had already changed the previously unassuming 24-year-old, but when he then gave his considered assessment of the decision by Alex McLeish to appoint Robertson as leader of the national side, he could think of no one better suited for the role.

“He’s been asking me to clean his’s gone to his head!” said Armstrong.

“It’s a very good choice. I’ve known Andy for years. He’s the type of player who leads by example and gives his all for the team. He’s someone who is very well liked in the squad and it’s a very good choice.

“The one thing I’ve admired about Andy is that he’s always been the same player if he was playing for Dundee United as he would be if he was playing a Champions League final. He’d always be consistent.

“As a person he likes a joke, but he can be serious too.”

The serious work of qualifying for the European Championships in 2020 gets underway on Monday night. Once a glamour friendly against Belgium has been navigated on Friday evening, Scotland get their UEFA Nations League campaign underway with a home tie against Albania.

The new route to the play-offs offers a more than realistic chance for Scotland to get closer to their goal of qualifying for a major championship for the first time in over two decades, and if they are to do it, the side that Armstrong and Robertson were a part of at Dundee United will be well represented.

John Souttar is the latest of the Tannadice alumni to make the squad after his call-up on Monday, and Armstrong believes his inclusion is long overdue.

“It will be a big week for him,” he said. “Everybody remembers being called up for the first time and their first involvement with the squad. It’s an exciting time.

“He’s another really nice guy and I’m happy to see him get this recognition.

“I think he was only 16 when he played his first few games for Dundee United. He showed a lot of composure for a young player back then and he’s become a very good player.

“Seeing boys from United like Jonny Russell, Andy and Soapy in a Scotland squad after all those years, it’s great how it’s turned out.”

One name from that group of players that is conspicuous by its absence is that of Ryan Gauld, but Armstorng believes that time is still on the 22-year-old's side.

“I’ve always loved playing with Gauldy,” he said. “He went to a massive club and that can go different ways. It would be good to see him in the future.”