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Page last updated at 07:22 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 08:22 UK

Pressley exits post with Scotland


I'm a stronger manager - Burley

Steven Pressley has confirmed he has left his post as an assistant to Scotland manager George Burley.

It is part of a reshuffle of the backroom team following confirmation by the Scottish FA that George Burley will remain as national manager.

There had been reports that Pressley had not been providing the desired link between manager and players.

But both he and Burley say that it was down to Pressley's frustration at not being involved in tactical matters.

Pressley said: "It was evident from the outset that my role in team affairs would be minimal and that my opportunity to do any coaching would always be limited in the current management structure.

"Although I appreciate the benefits for a young coach of being involved in an international set-up, after 18 months in the role I felt that it was the right time to step back from Scotland and concentrate all my efforts on my club career."

Pressley said he thought it best to concentrate his efforts on being assistant to Eddie May with Falkirk in the Scottish Premier League.

I know that Steven has felt frustrated at times at not playing as big a tactical role as he would have liked with Scotland

Scotland manager George Burley

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Scotland and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity," said the 35-year-old.

"It has been an honour to be involved with the national team."

Pressley was Burley's captain when he managed Hearts and was appointed as assistant Scotland coach in early 2008.

Having won 32 caps, Pressley called a day on his international career in February last year on being given the coaching post by Burley.

However, despite still being in Gordon Strachan's Celtic squad and then playing for Danish side Randers and Falkirk, there are rumours that Pressley was not providing the link between management and players that Burley had sought.

Pressley had impressed Burley as the dominant figure in the dressing-room at Tynecastle and, on making the appointment, predicted that he would one day become a top manager.

"Steven has been a massive figure in Scottish football for many years and I have enjoyed having him as part of my backroom team with Scotland," said Burley as he confirmed Pressley's departure.

"I know that he has felt frustrated at times at not playing as big a tactical role as he would have liked with Scotland - especially as he is keen to test and prove himself at the start of his coaching career.

"That is why, after discussion, Steven and I have decided that he should take a step back from the Scotland job and concentrate on his club career.

"I would like to thank Steven for everything that he has contributed to my team and wish him every success with Falkirk and in the rest of his career."


There is no suggestion that former England captain Terry Butcher's position as Burley's other assistant is under threat.

Butcher is a close friend of Burley's and is a former team-mate from their successful days at Ipswich.

Burley, who says he will shortly announce a successor, is understood to be keen to keep Tommy McLean in his post too - the former Motherwell manager acts as an observer in the stand during games.

With so many Scots plying their trade in the Championship in England, Burley needs a small team to be able to cover the grounds to watch players at close quarters.

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith insisted the make-up of the backroom team was solely Burley's concern and that it played no factor in the discussions about the manager's continuation in the job.

"I don't know where that has come from. That was not an issue," Smith told BBC Scotland when asked about Pressley's future.

"George has got full responsibility for his own team. Who he appoints as his coaches is down to him. We don't have any influence on that whatsoever."

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see also
Pressley axe disappoints Caldwell
16 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Burley remains as Scotland boss
15 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Smith rules out Scotland return
15 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Butcher and Pressley join Scots
04 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Chick Young's view
14 Sep 09 |  Internationals
McLeish backs Scots boss Burley
11 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Should Burley stay or go?
10 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Scots set sights too high - Moyes
11 Sep 09 |  Internationals

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