Vogts not under any pressure, says Burns
Tuesday 07 September 2004
Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Slovenia is being touted as the game which could decide Berti Vogts's fate, but his assistant, Tommy Burns, does not see it as a do-or-die game.
The pressure on Vogts was lessened slightly by Friday's performance in a friendly against Spain. The score was 1-1 before floodlight failure and pitch flooding led to the game being abandoned after 59 minutes. But there is no doubt the German would once again come under fire if his players fail to register three points from their World Cup opener at Hampden tomorrow night.
Morale had hit a new low last month when Scotland lost 3-0 in a friendly to Hungary - a nation ranked 15 places lower at that time - in front of just 15,933 supporters at the national stadium.
Such results are understood to have led to a split behind the scenes at the Scottish Football Association. David Taylor, the SFA chief executive, has claimed a board meeting scheduled for the day after the Slovenia game is coincidental and not set aside for talks over Vogts' future.
Vogts could find himself the target of the nation's frustration once again if Scotland were to suffer another embarrassing result but his No 2 believes to end the game without a win would not be a catastrophe.
"I don't think there is any point putting ourselves under any sort of pressure that says we have to win or it's the end of the world," Burns said. "It won't be, but it's certainly one that we don't want to lose and we will be doing everything we can to win it."
Scotland have doubts over their injured defender Steven Pressley. The Hearts captain missed Friday's draw in Valencia with a back injury.
Scotland's World Cup qualifer against Moldova on 13 October could be moved to a new venue because of security fears. The match is scheduled to take place in the semi-autonomous Moldovan region of Transnistria.
However, Transnistria has become the centre of ethnic conflict between Moldovans and Transnistrian separatists, making the area particularly unsettled.
Italy, who were due to play in the Transnistrian town of Tiraspol this week, have been granted their request to switch their game against the Moldovans to Chisinau.
An SFA spokesman said: "We are aware that the [Italy] game has been moved to Chisinau and we will monitor the situation. But, at the moment, we are concentrating on playing our own match on Wednesday against Slovenia, which takes priority."
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