OVER a fortnight had passed before Craig Gordon watched back a replay of the late goal which Scotland conceded in their Russia 2018 qualifier against England.

The time which has elapsed didn't make seeing the Harry Kane strike that denied his side what would have been a famous victory any easier for him to bear.

The goalkeeper was criticised by many afterwards for failing to come off his line and pluck the Raheem Sterling cross out of the air before it reached Kane.

Read more: Brendan Rodgers: I've no intention of signing my son Anton for Celtic despite BW Linz run-out​Glasgow Times: Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon in Austria.

He defended his actions at the time and is still, having pored over footage of the incident once again, positive he made the right decision.

Yet Gordon, who is in Austria with the rest of the Celtic squad on a pre-season training break, has admitted the national team, who had come from behind at the death to lead 2-1, collectively switched off after going in front with fatal consequences.

“I only saw it again for the first time a few days ago,” he said. “I probably still think the same way that I did at the time after seeing it again.

“I thought Kane was going to head it, but by the time he lets it drop to the point where he can volley it the distance is really close. It’s close to the goal, but for me to attack that ball in the air it would have been another seven or eight yards to get to it above his head height.

“There are split second decisions and I won’t get every one right in the season, but I got most of them right through 60 games.

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“When you look back you may wish you’d done something else, but I’m comfortable in my own head why I made that decision. You can discuss if it was right or wrong, but the process of me thinking should I stay on line or go for it was the right thought process. I can take that.

“But I think we did lose concentration. We cleared the free-kick 30 yards from goal before it came in and I think we thought that was us. We were waiting on the final whistle. It didn’t come. The ball came back in the box and we lost the goal. There is a possibility we lost our concentration and we didn’t see out the game.

“I probably thought we had won it when I saved the free-kick, although that’s not the right thing to think at that stage. If we’d just managed to keep hold of the ball for 30 seconds we’d have done it.

“We gave it our best shot and it wasn’t good enough. We didn’t think we’d be in that situation after coming from behind. Whether it was mental or physical we didn’t manage to get through the situation.”

It was, despite holding the Group F leaders to a draw and picking up what could prove to be a valuable point, a bitterly disappointing way for Gordon and his Celtic team mates Stuart Armstrong, Scott Brown, Leigh Griffiths and Kieran Tierney to round off what had been an exceptional season.

The quintet, who had helped the Parkhead club go undefeated domestically and win only the fourth treble in their history, had been looking to cap their annus mirabilis on a huge high. Instead, they suffered one of the most excruciating denouements to any game they had been involved in before in their careers.

The 34-year-old, though, stressed the game had already been consigned to the past and would have no lingering affect on those involved going forward.

“It doesn’t knock on to Celtic stuff,” he said. “We played in a totally different way in that England game to the way we would play here. It was very defensive to keep England out for most of the game. We didn’t carry a great deal of threat. It’s a different team and a different style.

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“When we come back here into Celtic then we know how to go about our business here. Mentally it’s fine. It was a draw that should have been a win, but we’re okay. That’s football. You take it on the chin and get on with the next game and my next game is to build for the Champions league qualifier.

“If anyone had said a 2-2 draw was there before the game we’d have taken it so we have to remind ourselves of that. It was the way that it happened that makes it disappointing. It was another game unbeaten but the manner of it means it was a little bit disappointing. Overall, for 60 games of the season I had a good return.”

Gordon certainly feels that nobody will have to lift Griffiths’s spirits in the wake of the England match. The striker had failed to score in his 12 previous appearances for Scotland going into the game. But he ended his barren run in some style with two sensational long-range free-kicks which left Joe Hart clutching at air.

The 26-year-old lost his place in the Celtic first team to Moussa Dembele last season and may once again find himself on the bench when the new term gets underway as the French striker has recovered from the hamstring injury which ruled him out of the final games of the 2016/17 campaign.

But his club mate predicted his double in the World Cup qualifier will help him to take his game to a new level. “Hopefully it will be a stepping stone from him to push on,” he said. “His goal scoring is never in doubt. His finishing is among the best I’ve ever seen.

“Last season he was in and out through injury. But he’s come back and lost a bit of weight he looks lean and sharp in training even this early. He’s an unbelievable striker and there aren’t that many around with his knack for sticking the ball in the net.

“He’s worth a great deal to us for that ability. He’ll score all types of goal - he can knock it in from 30 yards but he’ll score tap-ins as well. He’s got a great leap even though he’s not the biggest.

“He can be an all-round striker but he just needs to stay fit and play games. When he does that and gets confident then he’s a handful for any side. He wants to be on the pitch all the time and wants to score goals. Even his record last season he got 18 in 22 starts so his stats are incredible.

“He’s looking good this season so hopefully he’s given up the tea cakes for good. But you never know with Leigh.”