scotland news

SFA's Smith wants ''measured reflection'' over Burley

September 10, 2009

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith has called for ''measured and considered reflection'' after Scotland's failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Defeat to Holland at Hampden Park meant the Scots could not even finish in second place in a group which also featured Norway, Macedonia and Iceland and there were calls for manager George Burley to be sacked even before the result.

But Smith insisted the SFA will not be rushed into action and Burley will meet with SFA president George Peat next week to discuss the campaign.

Smith said: ''Like every Scottish football fan, I am terribly disappointed that we have not made it to the World Cup. We so desperately wanted to be there and it just hasn't worked out for us. The fans in this campaign have been brilliant and it is a shame for them - and for football - that they won't now get the chance to go with their team to South Africa.

''However, the table doesn't lie and we didn't get enough points to make it to the play-offs. That being said, there are a lot of positives to be taken from the way the team played in the last couple of games.

''Hopefully this will have an effect on those players who will be representing us in forthcoming campaigns. As for the future, there will be discussions with George Burley next week to review the way the campaign has gone.

''However, unlike many people who are quick to offer a knee-jerk reactive opinion, I feel that this a time for measured and considered reflection on the campaign that has just been completed.

''I always insisted that we would review matters once we knew whether we had qualified or not and this is what will happen now.''

Scotland must now look to the 2012 European Championships for their next chance to qualify for a major tournament, having not managed that since 1998.

Smith added: ''Our next competitive match is in September 2010 so there is no need to make any statement regarding George Burley's future until we have had a discussion with him on how he regards the events of the last year and what his plans are, going forward, for the development of the Scottish team.

''Everyone wants to see us qualify for major championships. We have a year to go before we set out on the road to Poland and Ukraine. We will do everything we can to make sure that that campaign is a successful one.''