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Craig Brown on Belgium
"We're not scoring goals, they're scoring goals"
 real 14k

Dominic Matteo talks straight
"I'm Scottish and that's it"
 real 14k

banner Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 23:06 GMT
Brown says Scots can defy critics
Brown remains optimistic of finding a route to goal
Brown remains optimistic of finding a route to goal
Scotland coach Craig Brown insists that even though some critics believe his team is old, slow and lacking an in-form striker, they can still do the business against Belgium.

The visit of Robert Waseige's team to Hampden on Saturday was always going to be one of the key fixtures in Group Six.

Belgium arrive in Glasgow on Thursday afternoon as group leaders but Scotland are level on points and unbeaten after three away games.


I don't think we have other younger players who are ready for a game of this importance
  Craig Brown

Once again Brown is relying on veterans like Colin Hendry and Tom Boyd to roll back the years and put in a shift against much younger opponents such as Anderlecht's flying winger Bart Goor.

Brown insisted: "That doesn't concern me at all. I'm sure that in other countries if players are good enough they are not too old.

"Obviously I would have liked to have had a young, vibrant team but we have lost a number of younger players.

"And I don't think we have other younger players who are yet ready for a game of this importance."

Christian Dailly, Gary Naysmith, Brian O'Neil and Callum Davidson have already been ruled out by injury.

Now St Johnstone goalkeeper Alan Main and Manchester City striker Paul Dickov have pulled out.

Hendry, now with Bolton, will pick up the 50th cap of an illustrious career and gain entry to the SFA's Hall of Fame.

Brown said: "I have seen him in action and I think he has been man of the match on four or five occasions.


Don Hutchison does very well when asked to play up front
  Craig Brown

"I have no doubts about Colin Hendry's fitness or ability. He is very much in line to earn his 50th cap."

A major concern is a perceived lack of firepower with neither of the two out-and-out strikers, Billy Dodds and Kevin Gallacher, getting regular games at club level.

With Neil McCann out injured there are no players with a reputation for pace and getting behind defences.

Brown conceded: "We are not going to be able to run behind so we have got to be tactically aware of that and not put the ball behind.

"In open play, I would expect good midfield support. We have always had that in recent years and hopefully we will get quick support to the front.

"We also have Don Hutchison, who does very well when asked to play up front."

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See also:

15 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Gemmill earns Scotland recall
16 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Belgian call for Joos and Branko
19 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Two out for Scotland
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