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Page last updated at 18:56 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 19:56 UK

Burley upbeat despite Czech loss

George Burley directs his side in Prague
Burley applauded his players' efforts

George Burley stressed that he needs his best players back after he suffered his first defeat - to Czech Republic - as Scotland boss with a patchwork side.

"For any nation, you want your best players available and hopefully, come the World Cup qualifiers, we will have them," he said after the 3-1 defeat.

"But who knows? You can get injuries, so you need a squad and competition and that showed.

"Young players got experience and that can only be good for the future."

Burley had seven call-offs ahead of his debut draw with Croatia in March and suffered another six ahead of the Prague friendly.

Others, like skipper Barry Ferguson, were absent from the original squad named by Burley earlier this month as he was forced to take into account injury and fatigue from a long, hard club season.

It was an opportunity for others to impress and David Clarkson will be pleased at scoring a cracking goal

Scotland manager George Burley

But Burley insisted that the match - against a side preparing for the Euro 2008 finals - was good preparation for September's opening World Cup qualifier.

"Sometimes in defeat you learn more," he said.

"We needed to be tested. Our first two World Cup qualifiers are away from home and the temperature in Macedonia will be similar to this.

"In this situation, you are looking to build. We knew we were taking on a game that wouldn't be easy and we were aware of the Czech Republic's record.

"It was a case of getting some sort of system, giving players an opportunity and they gave it all they've got.

"The Czechs stepped up in the second half and it was disappointing to lose the goals.

"But you are learning about players and it was certainly a worthwhile exercise."

Motherwell's David Clarkson marked his debut with a goal.

The striker suffered the loss of his uncle - and Motherwell skipper - Phil O'Donnell before helping his side secure a third place finish in the Scottish Premier League.

"I'm pleased for David," said Burley. "It's all about taking your opportunities.

"We were inundated with call-offs, but it was an opportunity for others to impress and David will be pleased at scoring a cracking goal."

see also
Bruckner satisfied with Czech win
30 May 08 |  Czech Rep
Czech Republic 3-1 Scotland
30 May 08 |  Internationals
Czech Rep-Scotland as it happened
30 May 08 |  Internationals
Scotland photo gallery
30 May 08 |  Internationals
Pundits' views on Scotland defeat
30 May 08 |  Internationals

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