Scottish Football: A no-win situation

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SCOTTISH football responded to a kind European Championship draw by producing one of the most uninspired afternoons the Premier Division has ever seen. For the first time every game on the card finished in a draw with three remaining goalless, writes David McKinney.

While Rangers drew 0-0 with the joint leaders, Aberdeen, at Pittodrie on Saturday, Celtic also drew a blank against Dundee United at Celtic Park. Motherwell, in fourth, could go top if they win their two outstanding matches, following Saturday's goalless affair with Partick. They meet Raith Rovers on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, not even an uninspired Saturday on the field could dampen the feeling that the national side have been given an invitation to qualify for the European Championships in England in 1996, a tournament they are understandably desperate to compete in.

Today Craig Brown, the national manager, will look to the future when he includes Don Hutchison, the Liverpool midfielder, in his squad for the B international against Wales on 2 February, a game which could help some of the younger players make the transition from the Under-21 side which Brown supervised as assistant to Andy Roxburgh.

Hutchison's inclusion was possible because he has become an assimilated player with Liverpool for European matches, allowing Graeme Souness to free him for internationals without having him branded a foreign player by Uefa.

Brown has been given an extra boost with the news of Richard Gough's willingness to return to the international arena after the Scottish Football Association's exoneration of him following comments made about Roxburgh in his recently published book, Field of Dreams.