Butcher open to Boyd return

Scotland assistant talks of 'second chance' for striker who turned back on nation

Terry Butcher admits he would not be opposed to Kris Boyd playing for Scotland again after watching the Rangers striker score 18 goals this season. The national team assistant manager insists the final decision would have to lie with manager George Burley if the 25-year-old did change his mind.

Boyd informed Burley he no longer wanted to be considered for selection during his tenure after the goalless draw with Norway in October, claiming he had not been given a chance by the manager.

Butcher said: "The situation is that he doesn't want to play for George Burley. That situation hasn't changed as far as we are concerned. If he made a phone call and decided to go about things in a different way and wanted to play, that's up to him and George. I can't speak for them.

"Sometimes you need second chances. I've had third, fourth, fifth chances. Who's to say? But it's not my decision."

Asked whether Burley would ever make the first move, Butcher added: "I can't speak for George. That's his choice. I just want to see Scottish players doing well."

The former Rangers defender believes Boyd's decision to quit Scotland acted as the catalyst for his current sparkling form with Rangers. He said: "If you have a personal cause, that can make you play better and give you the incentive to do even better. Kris has had that.

"A lot of people asked how he would respond and he has responded very well. A lot of the players have said they are seeing a different Kris Boyd in the way that he runs around and contributes to the general play, which is fantastic."

Former Scotland and Celtic striker Frank McAvennie insists Burley must end the dispute with Boyd for the sake of the nation's World Cup qualification hopes. He said: "The Scotland manager has a big problem. I was the one who backed Boyd and I think he should have played in that game, even if it was for the last 20 minutes.

"Since then, George Burley must be sitting very uncomfortably because Boyd is scoring every week and [Rangers manager] Walter Smith is playing him every week. George has to go cap in hand and get Boyd back because we don't have a lot of strikers. They should work it out because he is a proven goalscorer.

"I think Kenny Miller and Boyd are the two players who can get us the points we need."

McAvennie also fears Boyd could make all the difference against Celtic in this weekend's highly-anticipated Old Firm derby. He added: "I've already been quoted as saying I think Rangers might win the next three Old Firm games but Celtic will still win the league because Celtic have more in their locker.

"But Kris Boyd is scoring and he is the difference at the moment. I think he could cause Celtic problems. He hasn't played against Celtic much, which is great. As a striker, I look at him and think he is dangerous. He is like Coisty [Ally McCoist]. Coisty is obviously working with Boyd and he is working his backside off."

Rangers head into the clash at Ibrox trailing Celtic by four points and, despite claiming the fixture is less controversial than the ones he enjoyed himself as a player, Butcher predicts there could be fireworks on Saturday.

"We used to kick lumps out of each other and you could do that legally," he said. "You can't do that now, you can't go near anyone now or you get a yellow card. But it can kick off with a team scoring a goal or missing a tackle. There is so much more at stake now and it's so close between Rangers and Celtic that anything can happen, anything can set it off.

"There seems to be more pressure on the players now because the results mean so much and the league means so much. Rangers want to win that title back and they are playing catch-up, which is not a position they want to be in. Rangers want it desperately and sometimes if you want something really desperately, you will overstep the mark and do things."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world