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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 18:42 GMT
Amateurs pitch in against Vogts
Scotland boss Berti Vogts
Berti Vogts has been in charge for one year
Amateurs Queen's Park have told Scotland manager Berti Vogts they have no intention of quitting Hampden Park to help the national team.

Vogts is concerned about the state of the Hampden Park pitch ahead of next month's Euro 2004 qualifier with Iceland.

The Third Division side use it for home games and, before the season ends, there will be two cup finals and American football matches featuring the Scottish Claymores.

Vogts would love the Spiders to relocate elsewhere, but club secretary Alister Mackay insisted that would not happen.

Queen's Park own the ground

Queen's Park secretary Alister Mackay
"Queen's Park own the ground and part of the 20-year lease to the SFA is that we play our matches there," he said.

Vogts became the latest to add his voice to the growing chorus of criticism concerning the pitch as he prepared for Wednesday's friendly against Republic of Ireland.

Hampden's playing surface is in a poor state of repair despite being completely relaid less than a year ago at a cost of 100,000 and the problem was apparent during the recent CIS Cup semi-finals.

Vogts is anxious to get the pitch in good condition for the summer showdown with Euro 2004 group favourites Germany and there is another important home qualifier with Iceland next month.

"I saw the last two matches, featuring Rangers and then Celtic, and the pitch didn't look very good," said Vogts.

"It is wintertime, so that is normal, but we need a very good pitch on 29 March. That is very important.

"I don't think the time is right for it to be relaid.

"Maybe for the Scottish Cup final or the Germany game we will have a good pitch, but we also need one for the game against Iceland.

"I will have to wait until after the match but then I will have a discussion with the SFA. Scotland's games should take priority."

The game marks the German's first year in charge of the Scots and he admitted that it had been far tougher than he had initially thought.

"When I first came, I didn't think it would be a hard job," he said. "I thought Scotland is one of the best national teams in the world.

"I thought of Scotland, Rangers and Celtic and all the great Scottish players of the past, who always gave Germany a lot of problems.

"So I signed the contract. It's a hard job, but a very interesting job for me.

"I like it and I like the people in Scotland. They have been very friendly to me and my players.

"So fingers crossed for the future and I hope we can get second place in the group and then go through in the play-offs."

See also:

12 Feb 03 | Scotland
11 Feb 03 | Scotland
21 Jan 03 | Scotland
10 Feb 03 | Republic of Ireland
09 Feb 03 | Republic of Ireland
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