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Thursday, November 11, 1999 Published at 16:48 GMT


Scottish casualty list lengthens



Hearts striker Gary McSwegan is almost certain to be ruled out of the first leg of his country's Euro 2000 play-off against England.

But manager Craig Brown says McSwegan is on course to be fit in time for the return Wembley clash four days later.

Brown said captain Colin Hendry and Callum Davidson were set to pass last-minute fitness tests but said he may yet decide not to risk his skipper in the first leg.

Risk factor

"Colin is doing extra work every session and is pushing himself hard to be involved," said Brown.


Scotland keeper Neil Sullivan: "We don't care how many people say we're going to lose"
"We don't want him receiving treatment the day of the game however, so he'll have a final test tomorrow.


[ image: Hendry stretches during training at Ayr United's stadium]
Hendry stretches during training at Ayr United's stadium
"There are still selection decisions to be made and the fact there are two games in a short space of time may have a bearing on whether or not we take the risk on any players.

"I would say of those struggling, Gary McSwegan's the most serious injury and I've got to be very dubious about him playing.

"Callum needs another day and we've not given him the ultimate test yet, but he at least has a chance whereas I don't think Gary has. He should still make the second leg though."

Both Brown and England manager Kevin Keegan are expecting the play-off the be decided in the second leg at Wembley on Wednesday.


[ image: Hutchison: 'I'm not prepared to think about defeat']
Hutchison: 'I'm not prepared to think about defeat'
The Scotland manager may decide not to risk losing Hendry for that clash.

Meanwhile midfielder Don Hutchison - who Keegan believes to be the Scots' biggest threat - says the underdogs tag suits his side.

"People call us underdogs and that's fine. But if you look at Scotland's recent track record we have performed well against top sides like Germany and Brazil," said Hutchison, who's football career was revived after Everton's Scottish manager Walter Smith took him to Goodison Park.

"This is the biggest game I have played in without doubt. The atmosphere has been intense even south of the border.

"It's all people are talking about. I just want to make Scotland proud," said Hutchison, who was born in the North east of England and sounds more like Alan Shearer than Billie Dodds.

"I do not know what it will be like if I have to go back and we haven't won. It's not something I'm prepared to think about."





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