SCOTT BROWN watched his Celtic teammates achieve what he never could as a Scotland player last week, and he couldn't have been more thrilled for them and for the country.

The Celtic skipper was particularly impressed by the part Ryan Christie played in their success against Serbia, although his manager Neil Lennon was perhaps not quite as impressed at how big a part he played in the matches thereafter.

His eye-catching form was no surprise to Brown, who says his recent form for Celtic has been just as impressive, and he puts it is all down to the dedication of the 25-year-old to become the best possible player he can be. Indeed, he says that Christie has now become indispensable for club and country.

“He’s been unbelievable,” Brown said. “He went away on loan to Aberdeen, he’s worked extremely hard in the gym and built himself up a little bit.

“Everyone knows how hard he works, everyone knows how fit he is as well.

“He’s got that quality, as soon as he comes on to that left foot you know that five, six, seven or eight times out of 10 at least that it’s going in the back of the net.

“That’s what he brings. He brings that quality, he brings that willingness to run off the ball as well and work hard for the team.

“He’s been phenomenal for us for the last year and half now. He’s been brilliant with Scotland and his form just keeps getting better and better.

“We just want him to keep improving. Weekly he’s working with good coaches here, and I think that’s what has helped him as well.”

Brown’s delight at seeing Scotland reach a major tournament isn’t quite enough to tempt him out of international retirement once more, though he is hoping to be able to join the Tartan Army on the terraces to cheers on his teammates.

‘I’ve done my time,” Brown said. “It’s the other lads’ time now. They got there and were the ones that worked so hard over the past couple of years to make sure that they qualified and they did it really well. Fair play to them.

“I’m just pleased for the boys as well as the whole country and all the fans.

“I hope the whole vaccine thing comes through in time so all the fans can go down to Wembley, enjoy the game and get into the whole culture of the Euros.

“It’s been a long time. I remember France ’98 well – everyone sitting around the house watching the games and I know how much it means to the nation.

“I’d faith in Marsh (David Marshall) at the penalties. He’s been fantastic for Scotland and at all the clubs he’s been at.

“He’s a great lad and he deserves every bit of credit for what he did. Eventually I knew he was going to save one and he did it at just the right moment.”

Brown believes that Celtic will be among the beneficiaries of the extra spring that their Scotland players have in their step now, as well as the massive incentive they have to maintain top form and keep their place in the squad for when Euro 2020 rolls around.

“They’ve come back with a smile on their face,” he said. “They’ve done extremely well.

“It’s been hard for them playing the 120 minutes as well, but to get the win, it’s a lot of relief for themselves and the country as well.

“They’re in good form and so are the other lads as well that have been away on international duty, so we’re looking forward to Saturday now, pushing on and getting back to playing the way we did against Motherwell last week.

“The first half against Motherwell we were exceptional, and we need to make sure we build on that.

“There was some great play, we brought the ball out from the back, played between the lines, scored some great goals and could have had a couple more. Now we need to take that form into Saturday’s game.”

That game is against Hibernian at Easter Road, a tricky tie on paper that will have to be carefully negotiated according to Brown.

“Jack (Ross) has done a great job there,” he said. “He’s built a really good squad and they have a great team spirit as well, as have we.

“It’ll be an open game because both teams like to play football and I was at Easter Road last weekend and the pitch is in great condition.

“But we need these three points so we need to concentrate on ourselves rather than worry about how Hibs or anyone else is going to play.

“It’s all about what we’ve been working on in the last couple of weeks while the other boys have been away on international duty.

“We’ve done a lot on pressing, building from the back, our style of play and the shape we should be in...getting back to basics, with the manager and John Kennedy enforcing it.”