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8:31:36 PM
Burley names Fletcher as skipper


WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING GROUP NINE
Scotland v Norway
Venue: Hampden Park Date: Saturday, 11 October Kick-off: 1500 BST Coverage: BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Sport website. Highlights on Sportscene, BBC One Scotland @ 2150 BST
Darren Fletcher was smiling in the rain at Scotland training
Fletcher will be leading his country for the fourth time

George Burley has put his faith in Darren Fletcher to lead Scotland to victory over Norway on Saturday by naming the midfielder captain.

The Scotland manager has turned to the Man Utd playmaker in the absence of the injured Barry Ferguson and the suspended Stephen McManus.

Burley explained: "Since I took over, his attitude towards playing for his country has been outstanding.

"He is a player who is always desperate to represent Scotland."

It will be the fourth time that Fletcher will have captained his country.

He became the second youngest Scot to captain his country when he led the side against Estonia in 2004, aged 20.

It is a measure of Darren's talent that, at his relatively young age, he has achieved so much for his club and will win his 40th cap for his country on Saturday
Scotland manager George Burley

Fletcher will take the captain's armband this time as he makes his 40th international appearance.

"Darren has been an outstanding player for Scotland for a number of years," said Burley.

"At the same time, he has established himself as a regular player for one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"It is a measure of his talent that, at his relatively young age, he has achieved so much for his club and will win his 40th cap for his country on Saturday.

"I know he will be very proud to lead the players out at Hampden on Saturday. He will do a great job for Scotland."

Scotland assistant manager Terry Butcher thinks the Scots can compensate for the loss of inspirational Rangers captain Ferguson and Celtic centre-back McManus.

"We're missing two players from what we'd like to be our starting 11 anyway, but others can make up for that," said Butcher ahead of the Hampden clash.

Media conference: Scotland coach Terry Butcher

"Norway are a good, big, strong side. It's a home match and we want to win our home games.

"If we really want to win on Saturday then I think we can do it."

Butcher thinks the Scots could benefit from only having one match in the latest round of international fixtures.

"It's the first home qualifier, it's a one-off game and there's no double header to look forward to next Wednesday," he said.

"Norway have got to play Holland on Wednesday as well and that may be at the back of their minds. But there's nothing at the back of our minds except for the 90 minutes on Saturday."

Scotland are third in Europe's Group Nine, with three points from two games.

And Butcher said Scotland's toughest opponents in World Cup qualifying were themselves.

"If we're not in the right frame of mind for any match then we can struggle," he said.

"I think lessons have been learned from the game against Macedonia, particularly in the first half.

"It's a home match and we want to win our home games. Norway should have beaten Iceland in their 2-2 draw.

"They had plenty of opportunities and dominated possession. Iceland didn't have many attacks on goal yet scored twice."
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