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 Double trouble: Blow for Burley as McFadden and Hutton to miss Scotland World Cup qualifiers

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Join date : 2009-02-12

PostSubject: Double trouble: Blow for Burley as McFadden and Hutton to miss Scotland World Cup qualifiers   Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:15 pm

Scotland's worst fears were confirmed last night when James McFadden was ruled out of the vital World Cup double-header against Holland and Iceland.

And in a double whammy to Scotland boss George Burley, news coming out of Spurs suggested that Alan Hutton is also almost certain to miss both qualifying matches.
The right-back is recovering from an operation and is still weeks away from resuming full training.
It is a devastating blow for Burley, who has won only once since succeeding Alex McLeish in the post.
And it propels the likes of Hibs striker Steven Fletcher and Cardiff City’s Ross McCormack into his plans for Holland, as well as Rangers full-back Kirk Broadfoot.
Birmingham boss McLeish told Sportsmail last night that McFadden had ‘no chance’ of making the matches and, although Burley was more hopeful on Hutton, Spurs will be wary of an early return for the defender.

Burley gathers a 26-man squad together at St Andrews on Sunday and, with no
friendly during next week’s international date, the training sessions will have
increased importance before the March 28 trip to Holland and the Iceland tie at Hampden on April 1.
‘I spoke to James on Monday and he told me the situation,’ said Burley.

‘You always want your best players fit and we’ve not had that over the past year with
the likes of McFadden, Hutton and Barry Ferguson.

‘Scotland is not inundated with world-class players, so we can ill-afford to lose
people to injury. But that’s what can happen and we have to hope other players take their chance.

‘I am not giving up hope just yet on James. We’re seven weeks away from the Holland game and specialists sometimes give clubs a worst-case scenario.
‘I have also spoken to Hutton and he’s a bit more optimistic. He should be in full training long before March 28.

‘But you’d want someone to play a competitive game or two before they were
considered for a World Cup qualifying double-header.’

McFadden has had a stop-start season and McLeish can only hope he will be fit for the Coca Cola Championship run-in.

‘I would say James has no chance for Scotland,’ said McLeish. ‘We have been told it takes eight weeks for him to recover properly.

‘There is no surgery required, just a period of rest and then training. He looked a class act when he first arrived at Birmingham but, this season, it has been very awkward for him.’

Hutton made his only start for Burley this season against Argentina at Hampden in November before suffering a recurrence of the foot injury that saw him miss three
World Cup qualifiers.

He was originally ruled out for five months at the start of December and Tottenham
first-team coach Joe Jordan did not sound in any way optimistic about the forthcoming Scotland ties.

‘He is some weeks away from coming back,’ said Jordan. ‘I couldn’t put a timescale on when he will return. It was a serious injury that required an operation and we have to be sure he’s ready.’

Burley isn’t short on advice on another strike option, with Kris Boyd’s ‘refusenik’ stance unchanged. Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies has backed new signing Kevin Kyle for a call-up, while Burnley boss Owen Coyle has promoted Steven Thompson
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