Burley delays team selection

Scotland boss keeps players waiting

George Burley will wait until his players have trained on Wednesday before naming his starting XI to face Croatia.

The Scotland boss has seen his preparations for the game hindered by a spate of injuries and withdrawals and is keen to take as much time as possible to ensure that he gets his selection right.

The friendly represents the former Southampton bosses first match in charge of the national side, and he has made it clear that he will not be rushed into any hasty decisions ahead of a clash with a side who ended England's hopes of reaching this summer's European Championships.

"We'll train tomorrow and have a look at a few more things, then I'll tell them the team," Burley said.

"There are areas we're still working hard to get right.

"It's nice to get another session in, then we will finalise the team."

Big test

Burley refused to speculate on the rumours which have suggested that a number of Rangers players have pulled out of the squad in order to be fit for Saturday's crucial Old Firm clash with Celtic, and instead preferred to focus on those players who are available to him.

"That doesn't really matter," he said.

"Everyone came here, there were seven unavailable through injury and I can't help that. We have 20 fit players so we've got a few options.

"Darren Fletcher came today and trained today, so he is available along with Gavin Rae.

"Darren missed Sunday's (Manchester United) game with a virus but he trained today, not a problem, and he is desperate to play.

"He feels great and certainly comes into my thoughts for Wednesday.

"We are in good shape for a very big test."


The Scotland boss also confirmed that Celtic skipper Stephen McManus will take the first captain's armband of his rein, and admits that he fully expects the defender to revel in the role.

"I had no hesitation offering him the position as captain and he was very pleased to accept," he said.

"He's a leader, he's a commanding figure at the back, and I'm very pleased that we'll have Stephen leading us out on Wednesday."