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Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 17:17 UK

Pair let Scots down - Jefferies

Scotland manager George Burley
Burley has drawn support over his decision to drop both players

Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies believes Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor have let Scotland down.

The international pair were stripped of starting berths against Iceland after a drinking session at the team hotel.

"They've let themselves, probably their families and the country down," said Jefferies. "If we lose they'll regret it more as they'll take some blame."

"It was a stupid moment, it doesn't make them bad professionals, but they'll have to live with that."

The Kilmarnock boss backed the decision of the Scotland coach to discipline the pair after they allegedly spent over eight hours of Sunday morning drinking at the team hotel at Loch Lomond following their return from the defeat in the Netherlands.

Both players played the full 90 minutes of the 3-0 reverse in Amsterdam, but now captain Ferguson and goalkeeper McGregor have been relegated to the substitutes bench as punishment for their behaviour.

Both players have since apologised to the Scotland management team for their actions.

"Nobody will regret it more than the two players, but hopefully they'll learn not to do that again," said Jefferies.

"George has set the example for other players. Most managers would have done the same.

"There's no point in having a manager if people don't toe the line.

"You've got to show to the other players that there has to be discipline or else you lose respect.

"Incidents like this happen - I've had to deal with things like that - and it doesn't become news.

"But when you're preparing for a massive game in a major tournament it becomes big news."

Jefferies, who has been in charge of several clubs over 26 years, says the role of manager has changed over time.


"Years ago it used to be 75 percent knowledge of the game, 25 percent managing players," Jefferies explained.

"But the game has changed, players have higher profiles and bigger salaries, and now that's swung round and it's 75 percent about managing people."

Former Celtic captain Tom Boyd, who won 72 caps for Scotland was of a similar opinion to Jefferies.

"I've experienced this with Celtic players but I think you have got a totally different culture now," he said.

"With Barry being the national captain, he has to show a bit more responsibility."

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see also
Scotland's hall of shame
01 Apr 09 |  Internationals
Scotland v Iceland
01 Apr 09 |  Internationals

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