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Page last updated at 21:38 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 22:38 UK

Burley keen to stay as Scots boss


I want to stay as manager - Burley

George Burley insisted that he wants to remain as Scotland manager despite his side missing out on qualification for the World Cup finals in South Africa.

"I am manager of Scotland and proud of it," he said after the 1-0 defeat by the Netherlands in their final Group Nine game at Hampden Park.

"Everybody makes mistakes, but you saw passion, commitment and quality there and that's something to build on.

"I want to continue as manager of Scotland, of course I do."

Defeat by the Dutch meant that the Scots finished third in their group, being overtaken by Norway after their win over Macedonia.

And Scottish Football Association president George Peat had already warned that Burley's position would come under scrutiny in a review of the current campaign.

But, although some reports suggest that Burley will lose his job as part of that process, the manager gave no signs that he was prepared to walk away.

"I do my job to the best of my ability, I have been national manager for a year and a half, that's not long and I'm looking forward to more games to come," he stated.

"The fans showed that they were behind us tonight and we've shown in the last couple of games we are going in the right direction.

"The performance we put up against a top team was top-notch.

At the end of the day, the manager has not done enough, same as us players

Scotland striker Kenny Miller

"They've come off with a lot of pride. We put so much into the game, but we got nothing out of it. So, I couldn't ask any more."

Burley insisted the officials were wrong to disallow a goal from Steven Naismith for offside in the first half and suggested that Scotland had come close to qualifying.

"We're one opportunity, one right decision from being in the play-offs," added Burley. "We didn't get the breaks."

Striker Kenny Miller, who missed a couple of chances to score against the Dutch, admitted that the Scotland manager had not met his remit of reaching the World Cup finals.

But he insisted that the display against the Dutch proved that Burley had the players' support.

"At the end of the day, he has not done enough, same as us players - we have not done enough because we have not qualified for that second spot for the play-offs," said Rangers striker Miller.

"But, in terms of the manager having the backing of the players, there is no doubt when you see that level of performance.

"I thought we played very, very well, all that was lacking was a goal.


"I've hit the bar, I feel like I'm putting one into the empty net and the keeper has got up and saved it. The second half, I've had chances and I thought we played very well.

"But we can't keep relying on these last games all the time to perform. The damage was done two or three games before.

"Unfortunately, we never got to that level against Macedonia away and Norway in both games. You can't just lift yourself to play the good teams."

Scotland captain Darren Fletcher thought it was the players and not the manager who should take the blame.

"We did not do the manager justice in this campaign," said the Manchester United midfielder.

"He has taken loads of criticism. Even before a ball was kicked, there was criticism.

"He has had a long, tough campaign, but he has gained a lot of respect from the lads and has not let if affect him.

"He has been been bright, he has been vibrant, he has taken the criticism and shielded the lads.

"And you have seen, especially in the last two games, the boys have been desperate to do well for him.

"But that needs to be from the start and hopefully, under George, we can start the Euros well and give ourselves a good shot at qualifying."

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see also
End in sight for brave Burley
10 Sep 09 |  Internationals
De Boer delight at Dutch record
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Scotland v Netherlands pictures
09 Sep 09 |  Scotland
Scotland 0-1 Netherlands
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals

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