Football: Brown bemoans absence of Dodds

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The Independent Online
THE POSTPONEMENT of today's European Championship qualifier against Bosnia has deprived Scotland of their only recognised striker, Billy Dodds, for Wednesday's home game with Group Nine leaders, the Czech Republic.

Dodds was suspended from the Bosnia match at Ibrox but now the Dundee United player's one-match ban will carry over into the Czech match.

Dodds scored three goals in two games against Estonia and the Faroe Islands last October, and his presence was needed on Wednesday because Kevin Gallacher of Blackburn Rovers and Gordon Durie of Rangers are out for the rest of the season through injury.

"The Dodds situation is a problem," the Scotland manager, Craig Brown, said. "We had accepted he would miss the Bosnian game but missing the Czech one means we will totally have to change our thinking."

Uefa decided on Thursday to call off today's game because the Bosnian team could not fly out of Sarajevo due to Nato action in Yugoslavia.

Brown took his players for training yesterday and then let them go home to their families for a day before returning to the team hotel at Troon. While his players will experience a rare free Saturday, the Scotland coach is watching the Czechs play Lithuania in Teplice.

"The indecision is not good for the players," said Brown. "They are very disappointed because they were ready to play, but there is a war going on and we appreciate the problems the Bosnians faced."

Sky Sports Two, which had been due to transmit the Scotland v Bosnia game, is to show Sweden v Luxembourg instead.