Monday, February 24, 2020

Scotland boss Burley safe for the moment

SoccerNews in World Cup 13 Aug 2009


Scotland coach George Burley has been told he won’t be sacked in the aftermath of a 4-0 thrashing by Norway that severely damaged his side’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup.

Burley’s team were humiliated in Oslo on Wednesday and must now win their final two qualifiers at home to Macedonia and Holland to have a chance of earning a play-off place.

Scotland’s perilous position has increased the pressure on former Ipswich boss Burley, who has won just two of his 10 games in charge of his country.

But Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith, who was jeered by fans in Oslo, told BBC Scotland: “It’s too early to say ‘is there going to be any change?’.

“We have two games and we are still in a position where we can qualify.

“It’s not going to take a miracle, you wouldn’t even say it was improbable. It’s difficult but it’s still there to be done and we have to be positive.”

Scotland are now third in Group Nine behind Macedonia and Holland, who have already qualified in first place.

Smith added: “We always knew we needed six points from three games and now we have just two games remaining and we have Holland to play in our last game.

“The games are at home which is ideal to try and get that play-off position but Holland are such a strong side, they are in good form and their manager has motivated them to win every game.

“But if we want to be in the play-offs, it’s down to ourselves in terms of what we do. We’ve got to beat Macedonia first and then look forward to the big game with Holland.”

Smith admits Burley’s position will come under closer scrutiny from the SFA if Scotland do miss out but until then he wants the coach to focus on the job at hand.

“George was brought in for us to qualify for the 2010 World Cup,” Smith said. “That was his remit, he was given a contract on that basis and therefore we will review his position when we see where we are.

“If we don’t qualify, we’ll have to look at the situation and that would be a board decision.”


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