Football / World Cup: Roxburgh plans ahead with influx of young pretenders: Scotland's frustrated coach builds for the future with youthful squad

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The Independent Online
WITH qualification for the World Cup finals now a forlorn task, Andy Roxburgh, Scotland's national coach, has called up a host of young players for the Group One tie in Estonia on 19 May, writes David McKinney.

'There has been talk of a crisis in our game since the 5-0 defeat by Portugal,' Roxburgh said yesterday. 'I agree, there is a crisis - it is caused not by a lack but an abuse of talent. Too many games, our style of play and playing in the worst of conditions are the roots of the problem.'

His squad includes Alan McLaren of Hearts, Phil O'Donnell of Motherwell and the Aberdeen trio of Scott Booth, Gary Smith and Stephen Wright. Several experienced players have been left out, and the absence of David McPherson and Richard Gough has earned Colin Hendry, of Blackburn, his first call-up.

Martin O'Neill, the manager of GMVC champions Wycombe, is to meet the Nottingham Forest chairman Fred Reacher to discuss the vacant managerial position at the City Ground after Brian Clough's departure.' I'm going to see him, I think I am one of maybe three or four candidates involved.'

Russell Beardsmore, the 24-year- old Manchester United midfielder who has not played a first-team game for 18 months, is having talks with Bournemouth. Kevin Sheedy, the Republic of Ireland midfielder, is likely to join Cardiff City after being given a free transfer by Newcastle.

Arsenal will rest Ian Wright (ankle injury) and Tony Adams (groin strain) for tonight's Premier League game against Tottenham at Highbury - but both men are likely to be fit for Saturday's FA Cup final.