CRAIG BROWN is determined to see out his contract as Scotland manager - despite having to get accustomed to the kind of headlines that haunted Graham Taylor during his days as England coach.
Brown woke up yesterday after his 50th match in charge to find he was being mocked following the 1-1 draw in the Faroe Islands in a Euro 2000 qualifier. Two newspapers captured the mood of embarrassment among the Tartan Army with the headline: "Faroes 1 Fairies 1".
"I am only here if my employers want to continue my contract," Brown said."I find it a bit disconcerting to be asked about this after only one defeat in six games. My future is not in my hands. But you can take it from me that I won't walk away." He will need an extraordinary turnaround if the Czech Republic are to be overcome in Group Nine. Scotland set off for Prague today to prepare for Wednesday's qualifier knowing they need a result. They are 10 points behind the Czechs, who beat Estonia 2-0 to make it six wins out of six.
Brown said: "I have written off our prospects of winning the group, even if we get a victory in Prague. The Czech Republic have disappeared out of sight and if we get three points on Wednesday it will boost our chances of edging out Estonia and Bosnia for second place and gaining a play-off spot."
Brown will have to change his defence, with Hearts' Paul Ritchie tipped to replace Matt Elliott, who will miss the match after being sent off against the Faroes. Scotland were leading through Allan Johnston's goal before the Leicester defender was dismissed, and Brown indicated it could be Elliott's last game at this level.
"Elliott's future is in some jeopardy," Brown said. "I know he was under provocation but he is experienced enough to know he should have been able to handle it. Now we will see how we will cope without him." The 10 men conceded a last-minute equaliser when the Faroes defender Hans Frooi Hansen headed in a corner.
The Scottish Football Association is heading for a row with Uefa over the scheduling of their home qualifying match with Bosnia. The Scots were due to entertain Bosnia in March, but war in the Balkans meant the Bosnians were unable to fulfil the fixture.
European football's governing body is insisting the game is played on 18 August, but the SFA is worried about clashes with early Scottish Premier League matches, European ties and the League Cup.
Goals: Johnston (38) 0-1; H F Hansen (90) 1-1.
FAROE ISLANDS: Mikkelsen (Herfolge, Den); Johannesen (TB Tvoyoyri), H F Hansen (HB Torshavn), Thorsteinsson (B36 Torshavn), O Hansen (B36 Torshavn), Johnsson (Kongsvinger, Nor), J Joensen (HB Torshavn), S Joensen (GI Gotu), Morkore (HB Torshavn), Jonsson (FC Copenhagen, Den), Petersen (B36 Torshavn). Substitutes: Borg (B36 Torshavn) for J Joensen, 73; Arge (Leiftur, Ice) for Petersen, 82; J Hansen (KI Klaksvik) for O Hansen, 87
SCOTLAND: Sullivan (Wimbledon); Weir (Everton), Boyd (Celtic), Calderwood (Aston Villa), Elliott (Leicester City), Davidson (Blackburn Rovers), Dodds (Dundee Utd), Lambert (Celtic), Gallacher (Blackburn Rovers), Durrant (Kilmarnock), Johnston (Sunderland). Substitutes: Cameron (Hearts) for Durrant, h-t; Gemmill (Everton) for Johnston, 88.
Referee: P Kalt (France). Bookings: Faroes: Borg. Scotland: Johnston. Sending off: Scotland: Elliott.
Man of the match: H F Hansen.
Attendance: 4,500.Reuse content