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Burley sacked as Scotland manager

Scotland manager George Burley (right) and assistant Paul Hegarty
Burley was under pressure after failing to guide Scotland to the World Cup

George Burley has been sacked as manager of Scotland after a poor sequence of results.

The 53-year-old former Ipswich and Hearts boss leaves the post after 22 months, along with assistants Terry Butcher and Paul Hegarty.

Burley, who was contracted to 2012, was given a vote of confidence after a dismal World Cup qualifying campaign.

However, following friendly defeats in Japan and Wales, the SFA had a change of heart.

Burley won just three of his 14 games in charge and his sacking follows the 3-0 friendly defeat in Cardiff on Saturday.

Gordon Smith, SFA chief executive, said in a statement: "It is with regret that we announce George Burley's departure. We now have four months until our next scheduled match, against Czech Republic, and will therefore utilise the intervening period to ensure we attract the best possible replacement to take Scotland forward.

"The decision was taken after a meeting with the board of directors and, subsequently, the national coach.


"The board was in unanimous agreement. It should be stressed that the decision was not a direct consequence of Saturday's unacceptable 3-0 defeat to Wales but, rather, a realisation that the expectations of the supporters, the Scottish FA and George, himself, were not being met.

"I should point out that the Scottish FA stands by its decision to give the national coach our full support despite failure to qualify for the World Cup play-offs. It would have been negligent not to have given George every opportunity to rebuild and revitalise the squad in light of the improved performances in the last two qualifiers against Macedonia and Holland.

"Unfortunately, the adverse results in the two subsequent friendly matches against Japan and Wales provided confirmation that the improvement could not be sustained.

"On a personal note, I would like to thank George for his contribution and, on behalf of the Scottish FA, I wish him all the best for the future."

George Peat, Scottish FA president added: "I would like to echo the sentiments of the chief executive and stress that today's decision has not been taken lightly. The board will now enter into a period of private discussion to ensure the Scottish FA finds the best candidate ahead of the qualification campaign for Euro 2012."

The departing Burley, who played 11 times for Scotland, said: "I would like to take the opportunity to express my thanks to my backroom team, the Scottish FA, the players and the Tartan Army for the support they have shown throughout my tenure as national coach and I wish the national team success for the future."

Burley began his managerial career at Ayr United before enjoying success at Ipswich, the club where he had made his name as a player.

Born in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, he guided the Tractor Boys into the Premier League and also secured qualification to the Uefa Cup.

His eight-year reign at Portman Road was followed by spells in charge of Derby County, Hearts and Southampton before he took charge of Scotland in January 2008.

In his first qualifying campaign as boss, Scotland missed out on a place at the 2010 World Cup by finishing third in Group Nine behind Netherlands and Norway.

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