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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 09:17 GMT
Lambert to miss Dutch test
Paul Lambert
Lambert has faced a frustrating lay-off
Scotland skipper Paul Lambert has ruled himself out of Scotland's Euro 2004 play-off with Holland.

Lambert has been sidelined with an ankle injury he sustained during Scotland's 2-1 defeat against Germany in September.

The Celtic captain believes he will be out of action for at least another two weeks.

Should Scotland lose the two-legged encounter with the Dutch, the first leg is at Hampden Park on 15 November, then Lambert's international career could be at an end.

The influential midfielder has insisted that he will retire from international football at the end of the current campaign.

"That's eight weeks now and it's been unbelievably frustrating," Lambert told the Sun.

"There's not a thing you can do other than persevere every day.

"You have your good days and your bad days and on the bad ones I tend to take my frustrations out on Roddy MacDonald the physio.

"That's not fair on him but I just want to be back so much.

It's so much harder being stuck in a gym than being out on the training pitch
Paul Lambert

"I'm hoping to play some Under-21 games in a few weeks time and the main thing for me is to get back in amongst the boys again.

"I know I've got a bit to go though.

"Even when I get back into training, I'll be nowhere near match fit so I'll need to build up in that sense before I even think about a comeback."

Despite his absence, Lambert insists Berti Vogts' team can beat the Dutch and qualify for the finals in Portugal next summer.

"I didn't come back for Scotland to win a few extra caps, I did it to help the manager and allow the younger lads to develop," said Lambert.

"I knew there would be a time when the older ones had to take the flak.

"It was only for the purposes of getting them up and running and now they have the play-offs, I feel the team has grown enough to take it on without me.

"It will be very tough to beat Holland over the two games but you just never know."



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