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Scotland won´t force Fletcher reprieve

Scottish FA president Campbell Ogilvie said Craig Levein will not be forced to recall Steven Fletcher to the national team.

Fletcher has not played for the national side since informing the SFA by text that he did not want to be considered for a game against Northern Ireland in January 2011, with Levein since refusing to select him.

However, since his 12-million-pound move to Sunderland, Fletcher has scored all five of the Black Cats’ goals in the Premier League this season, sparking reports suggesting the SFA were looking to force the 25-year-old back into the national fold.

Ogilvie denied this was the case, telling reporters: “I’m quite clear that it’s Craig Levein’s prerogative to pick which players he wishes. It’s clear-cut, it’s very black and white.

“The manager is employed to pick the team and the players who he wants for his squad for the national team. The manager is employed to pick the team that he deems fit to be the best to win the games.

“It’s not for myself or a board member to interfere in that process. As a matter of principle, I do not believe it’s right that a director should try in any way to influence the team selection.”

The Tartan Army have made a disappointing start to their World Cup 2014 qualification campaign, but Ogilvie remains confident in Levein’s abilities.

He added: “I think there is a general consensus that we wanted more points from the first two games but they are two very good teams – Serbia in particular – and we’ve got to go into the next two games very positive and with everyone pulling together.

“There has been some negativity out there at times but, like any football match, you have to go in with a positive frame of mind.

“We are totally behind Craig. We have played two games and we want to take something out of the next two games. In my view, everyone has to be behind Craig and the team going into these games.”

Tue 2 October, 2012
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