Marshall tipped for Scotland bow

10 August 2009 01:40
Rangers goalkeeper Neil Alexander says Cardiff City's David Marshall deserves to be in goal for Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Norway on Wednesday.With Craig Gordon injured and Allan McGregor banned, manager George Burley must decide between Alexander and Marshall for the match in Oslo. Alexander said: "I think David Marshall will play and deservedly so. "I know what it's like to be in the squad for years and be overlooked. I'm here as cover because Craig's missing." Former Celt Marshall, playing in the English Championship with the Bluebirds, has had to bide his time at international level as understudy to Gordon and McGregor. And Alexander, who has been vying with McGregor for the Rangers goalkeeping position in pre-season matches, added: "David's been through a lot because of circumstances and he probably thinks he deserves to play. "I can't really disagree with that. He's been in the squad a long time as the number three. "Having been behind Allan McGregor, he now find himself in the number two position. "With Craig out, he keeps going up the ladder and maybe thinks he's entitled to play. That's fair enough. I can fully understand that, but that's the manager's decision." Scotland assistant manager Terry Butcher admits "gut feeling" will probably play a part in Burley's final selection. "He won't be afraid of making those decisions," Butcher said. "He makes bold decisions; he's always done that in his career and he's done so with Scotland in the past. "There's a lot of gut feeling that comes into management. I know it's not an exact scientific formula. "Sometimes, your gut feelings are your best feelings, but that's down to George and his gut feelings in the past have been very good." Gordon was back at Tynecastle on Saturday as his current club Sunderland played former team Hearts in a friendly. And, having suffered serious ankle and knee injuries in the past year, he was at least able to take part in Sunderland's warm-up. After the match, Gordon told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound programme: "That was the probably the most strenuous workout that I've had so far and everything went well; I had no after-effects from it. "We've come a long way in a short space of time. Over the last week to 10 days, it has improved at great speed and I was just out of contention for getting some time on the park. "On Monday, I'll be back in full training, so it really was that close. That's three months I've been out now and I've not had a single game in that time. "That would be a big ask to go straight into a World Cup qualifier." Gordon revealed that Burley had given him every chance of making the squad for the vital Group Nine match. "I spoke to the manager quite a few times leading up to him naming the squad," he said. "He was checking on my progress and was absolutely brilliant with me, but unfortunately we decided that, with my lack of game time, it was probably best that I was left out." Scotland are second in Group Nine and have three games remaining to try to secure a play-off place. Norway coach Egil Olsen has reported no injury worries ahead of Wednesday's game.

Source: BBC_Sport