World Cup Football / Scottish focus: Brown's European target

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The Independent Online
CRAIG BROWN, Scotland's new manager, is under no illusions about his long-term future. His job security probably depends on the outcome of the next European Championship qualifying competition.

If Scotland fail to reach the finals in England in the summer of 1996, Brown admits that his chances of continuing beyond that are slim. 'That is a fact of life and I go into this job accepting it,' the former Clyde manager said.

'The SFA (Scottish Football Association) were quite blunt about it when they offered me the job. They want the team to qualify for the European Championship and my future probably depends on it. If I get elbowed out, that's fair enough - but I don't intend that to happen.

The Brown era began promisingly in Malta on Wednesday night with a comfortable 2-0 win to finish off the unsuccessful World Cup campaign which had prompted Andy Roxburgh to resign.

'The ultimate judgement will be whether we qualify or not,' Brown added. 'I accept full responsibility if we don't. I may not be a pied piper figure like Ally MacLeod but I am not an introvert either.'

Brown will now get down to planning for next season with home and away friendlies against the Netherlands, a trip to Austria and a couple of B internationals.

He will also recommend to the Scottish FA that, whenever possible, there should not be any club fixtures on Saturdays preceding competitive internationals.

'Thankfully with league re-organisation next season we have eight fewer league matches to play. Everyone applauds that and I hope the national side can benefit from that,' he said.

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