Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Hartley dedicated to Scottish cause

The Scotland midfielder Paul Hartley has reiterated his commitment to the national side after Steven Fletcher became the sixth player to withdraw from George Burley's squad for the friendly against the Czech Republic tomorrow.

The trip to Prague for Burley's second game in charge since taking over from Alex McLeish in January is threatening to become almost pointless after the Hibernian striker pulled out with a chest complaint.

Burley was already without the Rangers quartet of Allan McGregor, Lee McCulloch, Barry Ferguson and David Weir.

But Hartley, whose Scotland debut came against Italy in March 2005 at the age of 28, is keen to follow players like Weir and Christian Dailly, who have continued their international careers well into their 30s.

The Celtic player said: "It's been a long hard season with the amount of games we have played and you always have aches and pains but you have to push yourself for one more game. You are representing your country and that's what you want to do.

"I want to play as long as possible and get as many caps as I can before I stop playing football. So you won't see me pulling out of any squads.I want to play as many games as I can."