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Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Barry Ferguson would love 50 caps, says brother Derek

Barry Ferguson
Ferguson has been capped 45 times for Scotland

Barry Ferguson would like to reach a milestone of 50 Scotland caps, according to his elder brother, Derek.

Ferguson was banned from Scotland for misdemeanours while on international duty, but Derek is unsure if Barry will return to Craig Levein's squad.

"I don't think Barry is going to make a decision until the summer," Derek Ferguson told BBC Scotland.

"But he loves playing for his country - he has 45 caps - and I'm sure he would love to make it to 50."

Ferguson, 32, and his then-Rangers colleague, Allan McGregor, were involved in a late-night drinking session under former manager George Burley after a World Cup qualifying defeat in Holland.

Both were banned by the Scottish Football Association after making gestures while on the substitutes' bench against Iceland and Rangers manager Walter Smith fined and suspended the duo for a fortnight.

Ferguson subsequently moved to Birmingham City to join his former Ibrox manager, Alex McLeish.

The story continues to generate intense media interest, with the new Scotland manager Levein stating that he is free to choose any players deemed fit to play in any future Scotland squad.

"He's spoken to Craig a couple of times and he has a lot of respect for him, but there are some issues that are maybe playing on Barry's mind," said Derek, who himself played for Rangers and Hearts.

"Is the Tartan Army going to welcome him back? I don't think he's too sure.

Ferguson and mcGregor
Ferguson and McGregor had been told they would not play for Scotland again

"People make mistakes and I would say to the Tartan Army that he made a massive mistake. They were wrong to do what they did and Barry has apologised.

"There's sometimes a bit of a witch-hunt going on, but I don't think he needs to make a big apology. He's apologised to the right people.

"He has a lot of thinking to do and the big factor is Craig Levein. If there's one man that will sway him and get him back into a Scotland jersey, it'll be him.

"He has other people he'll listen to, like Alex McLeish - and these are the people he will ultimately listen to. For me, him coming back is 50-50."

Meanwhile, McLeish has warned that a comeback at 32 could backfire and the former Rangers captain could be targeted as a scapegoat if he fails to produce his best form.

"I have told Barry purely from an experienced point of view how tough it will be to combine both - especially for a player like him because there'll be a lot of pressure on," said McLeish.

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"He will expected to be 100% every game for Scotland - the best player every game.

"If he goes below that level of being the best, they will probably start picking on him."

However, McLeish stressed that he would be leaving the choice to the player.

"It's not my decision," said the Birmingham boss. "I think it's common knowledge what my thoughts are. Of course, I want him to play for Scotland.

"But I know what it's like to come back from international games and then be up for it on Saturday - I'd come back jaded, a little bit leggy and one-paced at the weekend game.

"Sometimes you got away with it, sometimes you didn't."



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see also
Ferguson unsure on Scots comeback
08 Feb 10 |  Football
Gers' Ferguson 'harshly treated'
06 May 09 |  Rangers
Rangers pair given comeback hope
16 Apr 09 |  Rangers
Peat demands Scots drinks probe
03 Apr 09 |  Internationals
Scots fans may forgive Gers pair
12 Apr 09 |  Internationals
Scots end Gers pair's cap career
03 Apr 09 |  Internationals


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