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Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 12:46 UK

Burley hits back at striker Boyd

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Burley explained why Boyd was not picked

Scotland manager George Burley is standing by his decision not to play Kris Boyd against Norway.

The Rangers striker has since said that he would not play for Burley again after he was kept on the bench during the 0-0 draw at Hampden.

"I only want people who are totally committed," said Burley at a brusque media conference.

"You have got to show that passion and if you don't want to show it and you want to step out, fine."

A prolific goalscorer with Kilmarnock and Rangers, Boyd has played just 28 minutes in Burley's six matches.

With a record of seven goals from 15 internationals, Boyd was overlooked as a second half substitute in favour of Chris Iwelumo and Steven Fletcher, who, prior to kick-off, had one cap between them.

Wolves forward Iwelumo was then guilty of an astonishing miss from close range.

The only way Kris Boyd is going to get in the team is by playing regularly, showing what he can do, coming to the squad and looking lively and bright

George Burley

"Reputations are in the past," added Burley. "I choose a squad, I look at them play, I look at their attributes, I look at how they show up in training, which is very important, and I look at combinations.

"It worked very well (the introduction of Iwelumo and Fletcher). I'm not going to please everybody but the tactics worked.

"On another day, Chris scores and he's the best thing since sliced bread.

"Kris is disappointed not to play but this is your country you're talking about.

"I've never had a cross word with Kris. They come in, stay at five-star hotels, in this day and age they have massive wages.

Surly Burley exits early

"How much do you care? You don't need to like everybody. This is your country.

"Okay, he didn't get on but the only way Kris Boyd is going to get in the team is by playing regularly, showing what he can do, coming to the squad and looking lively and bright and look better than the other strikers. That's how you get in the team."

Boyd has been in and out of the Rangers team this season as his club manager Walter Smith has changed his striking formations.

When Boyd last started a match, against Partick Thistle in the Co-op Insurance Cup on 24 September, he scored a stunning volley, but found himself relegated to the bench in the following game away to Hibernian.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

"Walter Smith is one of the best managers in Britain," said Burley. "Kris has not been a regular for the past year and, if people aren't playing in big games, I've got to think 'something's not quite right'.

"Every player has strengths and weaknesses; elements of the game he needs to improve - Kris knows that.

"But the decision has been made and now it is time to move on."

Earlier, the chief executive of the Scottish Football Association, Gordon Smith, expressed his sense of regret about Boyd's decision.

"I think it is disappointing - you want your players available," Smith told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It is a bad reaction, but you have to respect the player. If he decides he is not playing again you have to go with it.

"I would prefer a player to stay on, because you never know what can happen."

Smith, who told the BBC that Burley's job is safe despite Scotland's failure to beat Norway, was also unhappy with the timing of Boyd's announcement.

"It was so soon after the game so there is a big reaction.

"Maybe he just felt he was not getting the opportunity. At international level, you have the option of saying 'I don't want to be considered again'.

"But he is a player who could add value to the squad, and you don't like to see people giving up."




see also
Surly Burley exits early
13 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Boyd quits Scotland under Burley
12 Oct 08 |  Internationals
The bench of frustration
12 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Iwelumo vows to shake off howler
11 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Scotland 0-0 Norway
11 Oct 08 |  Internationals
McCulloch quits Scotland set-up
08 Sep 08 |  Internationals


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