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Hegarty dismay at Scotland exit

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Hegarty surprised by dismissal

Former Scotland assistant Paul Hegarty believes George Burley should have been given more time to restore the national team's fortunes.

Hegarty, 55, joined Burley's backroom staff six weeks ago but left when Burley was sacked on Monday.

"I had six training sessions and two games with the national team. Little did I know that it would end so quickly," said Hegarty.

"I thought we'd get to March because of the game against the Czech Republic."

Burley had brought Hegarty in as a replacement for coach Steven Pressley and the former Livingston manager was taken aback by the pace of events following the friendly defeat by Wales.

It was only by Sunday/Monday things started to accelerate and I realised there could be repercussions

Paul Hegarty

Describing the Scotland players as "magnificent" in training, Hegarty said: "Any time that George, Terry Butcher or myself asked the players to do anything on the training ground they were bright as buttons.

"If anyone would have said to me that's what they envisaged what it would be like on Saturday, I never saw that happening. Because, I can assure you, the training sessions were first class and well prepared.

"There's no hiding the fact we were poor on Saturday and were well beaten. That's been well documented.

"I don't know about what George thought. Maybe I was a bit naive because I'm new to it, I was thinking we would get to March because of the game against the Czech Republic and then we can build on that.

"I never envisaged that. It was only by Sunday/Monday that things started to accelerate and I realised there could be repercussions."

Hegarty said there was always a great spirit in the Scotland camp, with the backroom staff enjoying a good relationship with the players.

"The players know they didn't play well against Wales. They were upset and we were upset," he added.

"If the players can remember how it felt at quarter to five in Wales then they need to ensure it doesn't happen again.

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"You've got about 5,000 Scotland fans coming down, paying good money and I know that if I was a supporter I'd be looking for a better performance."

The ex-Dundee United defender won eight caps for his country between 1979 and 1983 and was also involved in a scouting capacity for Burley.

Hegarty said he would still like to be involved in any new coaching set-up with the national side.

"That's for others to decide. People know what I'm like, on and off the park," he added.

"All I'm concerned about is getting back into the football environment."



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see also
Smith in no rush to name new boss
18 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Hegarty given Scotland coach role
26 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Burley sacked as Scotland manager
16 Nov 09 |  Internationals


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