Burley to keep Scotland job, SFA's Smith says

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The Independent Football

George Burley will continue as Scotland manager, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) said on Tuesday.

George Burley will stay on as coach of Scotland despite the team's failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

Speculation that the Scottish Football Association might fire the former Ipswich defender mounted after the team lost to the Netherlands 1-0 last Wednesday and was eliminated.

"This is not the time for change. It is a time to invest faith in the manager and the players," SFA chief executive Gordon Smith said Tuesday. "If the World Cup campaign has shown us anything it is that we are at our best when we work together. It is by standing united behind the manager and the team that we can achieve the success that we all crave."

The SFA board met after having talks Monday with Burley, who was appointed in January 2008 with the task of getting the Scots to their first major championship since the 1998 World Cup.

But second place went to Norway, which beat Scotland 4-0 last month and finished ahead of the Scots on goal difference.

Burley has a 4½-year contract and his next goal is to get the Scots to the 2012 European Championship, which will be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.

"George has been rebuilding his squad and brought through many young players who he feels will bring us success in the years to come," Smith said. "The next competitive match is not for another 12 months and this gives George and the players the chance to grow and develop together.

"You will not meet a more passionate, committed Scot than George. He is a man who cares deeply for his country and wants to take us back to the stage where we regularly qualify for major championships."