Scotland players lift Bonhof after point deduction

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But Watt, the Chelsea youngster, insisted the players got the points for their manager, who has the 100 per cent backing of the dressing-room. Paul Gallagher hit an early winner in their first competitive victory in two years.

"All the boys are dedicating this to Rainer," said Watt. "He has taken a lot of stick which has been harsh so we wanted to get three points for him. I don't want to go into it too much but this is my second trip away and personally I have loved working with him and I would love to see him stay. We have shown great spirit in the last two games and he is beginning to turn things around."

Bonhof hinted he might still have a future as Scotland Under-21 manager after watching his side snatch victory in Drammen.

The Scottish Football Association will make a statement on his future following a meeting with senior side's manager, Walter Smith. But even though he was giving very little away, Bonhof hinted he could carry on after masterminding the Norway win.

"It showed the boys have good spirit," said Bonhof. "It's been a hard week and it's not been easy over the last couple of days. But after what has happened it showed just what these boys are like. It is not about me, it's about what they do.

"It was an important match for us and I am looking forward to the next two matches when we can maybe leave the bottom of the table. On my own position no decision has been made. We will wait until tomorrow when maybe there will be a statement. We need to get information on what really happened."

Bonhof's assistant coach, Maurice Malpas, has assured his manager that he has the full support of everyone involved in the squad in the wake of the Whittaker affair.

Malpas insists the whole squad is fully behind the manager after claiming their first competitive win since November 2003. Malpas said: "The players have always been behind Rainer and everybody has been professional.

"I know they aren't pointing the finger at him. That is now in the past and it was just important we didn't let ourselves down against Norway. And the players were fantastic again.

"I never felt there was a sense of 'Doing it for Rainer'. The boys were just desperate to get the three points as they always are. What happened on Friday is disappointing and we have to make sure it won't happen again. But, if you say the players did it for Rainer, then that is insinuating he did something wrong and we don't know that. It is an unfortunate situation but he is not to blame.

"We will find out what happened but everybody is supportive of the manager."

Now Malpas is backing the Under-21 team to flourish with further guidance from Bonhof.

He said: "We have a good crop of youngsters here. We had a poor start to the qualifying campaign, but, in the last three or four games, we have done reasonably well. The Belarus game was hit by torrential rain, but we have picked up some good results and put in some good performances since.

"We have failed to qualify this time, but we are all looking to the future. We have seven or eight good players who are young enough to carry on and they will be the future nucleus of this side."

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