Scottish Football: Hendry blow to European hopes

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The Independent Online
THE RANGERS defender Colin Hendry is almost certainly out of Scotland's Euro 2000 double-header against Bosnia and the Czech Republic later this month. The 32-year-old former Blackburn captain last played in the Scottish Cup victory against Stenhousemuir, since when he has been missing with an ankle problem.

Hendry is not fit enough to make Dick Advocaat's squad for today's Premier League game with Motherwell at Ibrox and, while the Dutchman refused to say he will definitely not make the Scotland side, he admitted he was very doubtful.

"I was told he could be back for Saturday but I was informed yesterday that it will be a bit longer yet," said Advocaat. "Hopefully he can start training again next week but I have my doubts about that. The final decision will be made by Craig Brown and his team but in my opinion Colin is very doubtful."

Hendry's absence would be a huge blow to Scotland's chances of gaining maximum points from the two Euro 2000 games - a must in a delicately balanced qualifying campaign.

Leicester's Matt Elliott and the Aberdeen centre-back Derek Whyte are the men in the frame to replace Hendry.

Bert Paton has made a surprise return to Dunfermline as chief scout just two months after losing his job as manager of the Premier League club. He will report directly to the Pars manager, Dick Campbell, who was previously Paton's right-hand man at East End Park.

Paton will take responsibility for player recruitment at all levels and will work alongside the youth development manager when that post is filled.