Scotland news

Pressley quits Scotland job

September 16, 2009

Steven Pressley has quit George Burley's backroom staff, less than 24 hours after it was announced the Scotland boss was keeping his job.

Rumours were rife Burley was set to ditch Pressley, one of his assistants along with Terry Butcher, but the 35-year-old appears to have jumped before he was pushed.

He said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Scotland and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. It has been an honour to be involved with the national team.

"It was evident from the outset that my role in team affairs would be minimal and that my opportunity to do any coaching would always be limited in the current management structure.

"Although I appreciate the benefits for a young coach of being involved in an international set-up, after 18 months in the role I felt that it was the right time to step back from Scotland and concentrate all my efforts on my club career.

"I would like to thank George for the experience and I would also like to wish the team every success for the future."

There have been claims Pressley was not particularly popular among the Scotland squad and he will now focus on his duties at Falkirk, where he became a coach following his retirement from playing at the end of last season. He and Butcher were appointed to the national team set-up shortly after Burley was named Scotland manager in early 2008.

Following the country's failure to reach the World Cup play-offs, Burley's job was on the line. But he managed to convince his Scottish Football Association bosses to give him their "full backing" following a meeting at Hampden on Monday.

SFA chief executive Gordon Smith insisted no pressure had been put on Burley to get rid of Pressley - who he managed at Hearts - or Tommy McLean. It remains to be seen if McLean, used primarily as a player observer and scout, is kept on.

Burley later confirmed Pressley had stepped down following talks between the pair. He said: "Steven has been a massive figure in Scottish football for many years and I have enjoyed having him as part of my backroom team with Scotland.

"I know that he has felt frustrated at times at not playing as big a tactical role as he would have liked with Scotland - especially as he is keen to test and prove himself at the start of his coaching career.

"That is why, after discussion, Steven and I have decided that he should take a step back from the Scotland job and concentrate on his club career. I would like to thank Steven for everything that he has contributed to my team and wish him every success with Falkirk and in the rest of his career."

The SFA revealed Burley was expected to announce a replacement for Pressley shortly.