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Page last updated at 22:30 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 23:30 UK

Weir & Kyle recalled by Scotland

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Weir and Gordon will start - Burley

David Weir and Kevin Kyle have been recalled to the Scotland squad for next month's must-win World Cup qualifiers with Macedonia and the Netherlands.

Number one choice goalkeeper Craig Gordon also returns from injury.

And manager George Burley has already said Weir and Gordon will start against Macedonia on 5 September.

Stephen McManus is included but is yet to play a game for Celtic this season, while Steven Caldwell and Christophe Berra make it despite fitness worries.

Ross McCormack, Barry Robson and Chris Iwelumo are ruled out with injuries, while Kevin Thomson and Garry O'Connor have been overlooked.

With Gary Caldwell suspended for the clash with Macedonia and the injury concerns surrounding his brother Steven, McManus and Berra, Burley has called upon the experience of 39-year-old Weir.

Even before a ball was kicked, I was being criticised

George Burley

The Rangers defender won the last of his 63 caps in the 0-0 draw with Norway at Hampden last October, his only appearance in this World Cup qualifying campaign.

Weir will become the oldest outfield player to represent his country since Jimmy McMenemy in 1920.

"I've been in touch with Davie since I've been the manager, he has played in some of the games and played against Norway at Hampden last year," said Burley.

"But David is turning 40 and it is a big ask for a player of his age to play international football, it is a big jump up from the SPL.

"Davie is a model professional but you are trying to introduce other players.

"I wouldn't pick him if I wasn't going to play him."

The absence of forwards Iwelumo and McCormack has paved the way for Kilmarnock's Kyle to add his considerable height to Burley's attacking options.

The 28-year-old has not featured for his country since 2004 but has discovered a new lease of life at Rugby Park.

The former Sunderland and Coventry striker has scored 10 goals in 14 appearances for the Ayrshire side.

"It's something that I didn't think would happen," Kyle told BBC Scotland.

"Five years ago, my career ended abruptly because i was injured and I never quite forced my way back into the team once I got fit.

"But if you play week in, week out and score goals, it can give you a chance.

"Obviously George has picked me on my form and I've been scoring goals most weeks, so I think it's good that he's willing to pick other people than the ones being picked recently.

"I'm bit older and a bit wiser, so it's come at a good time."

Gordon made his comeback from a four-month spell on the sidelines as Sunderland swept Norwich aside on Monday night, meaning Aberdeen keeper Jamie Langfield drops out of the 25-man squad.

A crushing 4-0 defeat in Norway earlier this month has left Scotland's hopes of qualifying through the play-offs hanging in the balance.

Anything less than three points against Macedonia would extinguish them altogether.

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Burley has won just two of his 10 games in charge of Scotland but shrugged off suggestions he had these two games left to remain at the helm.

"My future doesn't matter, it's about Scotland," he said. "We have two games left in this group. Keep my job? Who knows?

"Every game, I will try my best for my country and do whatever I can to get the right results.

"Managers come and go. This is for my country and I will do my best no matter what.

"I got all the criticism after the Norway game but I will take it on the chin.

"I've been knocked since I took the job.

"A lot of people didn't want me to take it, didn't think I was the right man. Even before a ball was kicked, I was being criticised.

"Nothing will change: my focus is for Scotland, my focus is for trying to qualify for the World Cup and do my best for the country."


Scotland squad for the World Cup qualifiers against FYR Macedonia (5 September) and Netherlands (9 September) at Hampden Park:

Goalkeepers: Gordon (Sunderland), N Alexander (Rangers), Marshall (Cardiff)
Defenders: Barr (Falkirk), McManus (Celtic), Berra (Wolves), G Caldwell (Celtic), S Caldwell (Burnley), Davidson (Preston), Hutton (Tottenham), McAllister (Bristol City), Whittaker (Rangers), Weir (Rangers); G Alexander (Burnley)
Midfielders: Brown (Celtic), Commons (Derby), D Fletcher (Manchester United), Hartley (Bristol City)
Forwards: McFadden (Birmingham), Maloney (Celtic); Clarkson (Bristol City), S Fletcher (Burnley), Kyle (Kilmarnock), Miller (Rangers), Naismith (Rangers).



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see also
Weir happy to accept Scots recall
25 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Chick Young's view
25 Aug 09 |  Scotland
Jefferies backs Kyle for Scotland
16 Apr 09 |  Kilmarnock
Scotland can bounce back - Burley
13 Aug 09 |  Internationals


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