Dickov out of Scotland squad

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The Independent Online

Walter Smith, the Scotland manager, has suffered a double blow ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Italy after James McFadden and Paul Dickov both pulled out of his squad.

Walter Smith, the Scotland manager, has suffered a double blow ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Italy after James McFadden and Paul Dickov both pulled out of his squad.

Smith already faced a huge task in his first game in charge against the Group Five leaders at the San Siro on Saturday. McFadden had been rated doubtful after struggling with back and hamstring problems recently, although the Everton physiotherapist, Mick Rathbone, had been hopeful last week that he would be fit enough to take part.

But the news that he would be missing was confirmed yesterday morning, before Dickov was added to the injury list in the afternoon. The Blackburn Rovers forward has been playing with a groin strain for several weeks and his club manager, Mark Hughes, was keen for the player to be given the opportunity to rest this week. Dickov reported to the Scotland headquarters as planned, but it was decided that he should return to Lancashire.

The Sheffield United midfielder Alan Quinn has been forced out of the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier in Israel on Saturday. The 25-year-old suffered an ankle injury after scoring in the win over Burnley on Saturday.

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