Football: Hendry has to wait

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The Independent Online
THE RANGERS manager, Dick Advocaat, has told the Scotland defender Colin Hendry that he will have to fight for his place like other members of his first-team squad.

Hendry came off the substitutes' bench as an emergency striker on Sunday in the 1-1 Premier League draw against Dundee at Tannadice Park. He was said to be unhappy in that role, and there have been reports of a rift between the two men. But Advocaat said: "I have not spoken to Colin Hendry since the game, and there has been no bust-up. Not so far, anyway!

"He is certainly in my plans for the rest of the season, as are all those in my squad," the Dutchman added. "Unfortunately only 11 players can start - but surely the competition for places must be good for the club?

"They can't expect to walk into the side every week, although I think they now realise that." Advocaat defended his decision to use a back three of Sergio Porrini, Lorenzo Amoruso and Tony Vidmar and name Hendry as a substitute.

"We had won our two previous games against Dundee and scored 10 goals in the process," he said. "Both times we played with three at the back. That is why I used those tactics again - although it didn't work out as I expected."

Across Glasgow, the Scotland midfielder Craig Burley has insisted that he has no thoughts of leaving Celtic. The 27-year-old international has recently been linked with a pounds 5m move to Liverpool.

However Burley, who signed a five-year contract following his pounds 2.2m move from Chelsea in 1997, has said he is happy at Parkhead. He intends to speak with the club's new chief executive, Allan MacDonald, in the near future about his situation. "I will not be asking to leave Celtic or anything like that," he added. "There are bound to be changes here in the summer but my situation is not a major problem. I am very settled at Celtic."

Burley has played nine games since recovering from a groin injury and has been included in the Scotland squad to face Germany in a friendly in Bremen next Wednesday. But, for the moment, he is focusing on the League match at St Johnstone on Saturday.

Victory would take Celtic to within a point of Rangers, who do not play until the following day, when they entertain Aberdeen. Burley said: "Nothing less than a win will be good enough for Celtic."