Butcher - Burley not to blame
Terry Butcher insists George Burley is not responsible for the number of withdrawals from his squad.
Last Updated: 09/10/09 12:19pm
Scotland assistant coach Terry Butcher insists George Burley is not responsible for the number of withdrawals from his squad.
Burley has seen 10 players ruled out of the trip to Japan for Saturday's friendly, with several members of his first-team withdrawing from the squad.
Butcher, though, believes that is no reflection on the Scotland boss and believes the situation provides the ideal opportunity for fringe players to shine.
Watford midfielder Don Cowie and Dundee United winger Craig Conway have been drafted into the squad for the friendly in Yokohama.
A much-changed starting Xl will take to the pitch on Saturday, which Butcher believes is not necessarily a bad thing.
Rubbishing rumours of a bust-up between the players and manager, he said: "I think it's simplistic and wrong to suggest the call-offs are a sign that players aren't fully behind George."
Butcher, whose club commitments forced him to miss the trip, said: "The players are under massive influence from their clubs who look at six days to recover from jet lag.
"The call-offs situation is not at all bad. Often absences open the door for someone who may never have got the chance, but who comes in and stays in."
Norwich midfielder Stephen Hughes benefited from the significant amount of first-team withdrawals, earning a call-up for the trip to Japan much to his delight.
Hughes, 26, said there was no doubt in his mind whether he should make the trip, saying: "I was always going to come whether I had a slight knock or not.
"We've spoken amongst ourselves about it on the flight over. It is your national team and it is a real honour to play for Scotland. Every single guy here feels like that.
"The call-offs were great from my point of view. If some of the full squad were here, then I wouldn't be."