Scottish Football: Reward for Shearer

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The Independent Online
CRAIG BROWN, the Scotland manager, yesterday added Duncan Shearer, the Aberdeen striker, to his squad to face Austria in Wednesday's friendly match following the withdrawal of Gordon Durie, the Rangers forward, writes David McKinney.

Durie's wife is under observation as she expects the birth of their second child which is due on Wednesday. Under the circumstances the Rangers man has been excused duty.

Durie's club-mate, David Robertson, and Paul McStay, the Celtic captain, have also pulled out; both are injured. So has Phil O'Donnell, the Motherwell midfielder.

Brown has indicated he would be happy to travel with 16 fit players and has no plans to bring in any more replacements, with Shearer's inclusion being seen as just reward for the Aberdeen man, who has scored 23 goals this season.

Duncan Ferguson, the Rangers striker and the most expensive footballer in Scotland, is almost certain to be fined by his club after head- butting an opponent during Saturday's game against Raith Rovers.

Ferguson butted John McStay, the Raith defender, as the two tussled for possession, an incident clearly shown on television. The Rangers player escaped being cautioned by the referee, who chose instead to speak to both players. He later scored his first goal for the club since his pounds 4m signing from Dundee United nine months ago.