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Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 11:17 UK

Burley praises Gordon performance


Scotland still in the fight for World Cup place - Burley

Scotland manager George Burley singled out the performance of keeper Craig Gordon in the 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Iceland at Hampden.

Gordon replaced Allan McGregor after the Rangers keeper was dropped and pulled off a double save in the dying minutes to help secure Scotland's win.

"I always believe he's going to save everything," Burley told BBC Scotland.

"I have so much belief in the boy and he showed what a top-class international keeper he is again."

Burley had preferred McGregor for Saturday's 3-0 defeat against Holland since Gordon has not been playing regularly for Sunderland.

However, the Rangers keeper was demoted to the bench for his role in a drinking session at the team hotel on the return from Amsterdam.

Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon
To come back and put in a performance like that was very pleasing and it was quite emotional for me at the end

Craig Gordon

Gordon received noisy backing from the Hampden crowd, who were cheering his name throughout the win, which was secured thanks to goals from Ross McCormack and Steven Fletcher.

"This was my first game back for a while and I knew there was extra pressure to get the win," Gordon told BBC Scotland.

"I've only played one game in four months and to come back and put in a performance like that was very pleasing and it was quite emotional for me at the end.

"It wasn't pretty at times but sometimes against teams like Iceland it's difficult to get going and establish any rhythm."

Scotland now sit on seven points from five matches and occupy second spot in Group 9, three points clear of Iceland.

All of the other teams in the section play twice in June, while Scotland are next in action at the start of next season in Norway.

"The second game is always the toughest in international football. We worked hard and did a lot of chasing in Saturday's game in Holland.

"Overall, I thought we deserved the three points last night.


"It's not going to be easy, but it's great still to be there and it was important to get the three points for everybody in Scotland and keep the belief alive that we can still qualify."

There were a few tense moments for Scotland immediately after Indridi Sigurdsson equalised for Iceland and in the closing stages, when the heroics of Gordon came to the rescue.

"Every international game is very difficult, and Iceland battled right to the end," continued Burley, whose record as manager stands at two wins from nine games.

"We had to work hard, but overall I thought we deserved the three points.

"We worked hard as a team and we had some top-class individual performances, especially from one or two of our younger players, so that's very encouraging."

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see also
Scotland 2-1 Iceland
01 Apr 09 |  Internationals
Scots duo breach to be reviewed
01 Apr 09 |  Internationals

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