No Scotland U-turn for McCulloch

16 November 2009 01:47
But he believes the return of Rangers club-mate Kris Boyd to the international fold would be great news for the country.

McCulloch cited family reasons and a desire to focus on club football for his decision to quit Scotland and says there will be no change of heart even if there is a change of management.

The Scottish Football Association will meet this week to discuss Burley's future in the wake of the 3-0 defeat to Wales and he is unlikely to be given a second stay of execution.

But McCulloch insisted: "I'm finished. I made the decision for my own reasons.

"If the manager did change, I wouldn't really want to do anything about it.

"I made my decision and I stick by it. I don't know if the manager should be changed."

Boyd's situation is entirely different.

The striker informed the SFA he no longer wished to be considered for selection while Burley remained at the helm after expressing unhappiness at a lack of opportunities under the former Ipswich and Hearts boss.

His dramatic decision to walk away from the national team came within hours of being left on the bench for the goalless draw with Norway, the same match where debutant Chris Iwelumo infamously missed a sitter.

A change of management could now provide Boyd with the opportunity to resurrect his Scotland career and McCulloch believes his return would hand the nation a massive boost.

He said: "If the manager did change and if Boydy did go back, it would be brilliant for the country.

"He is the best goalscorer in the league. It could only be a positive.

"I don't know how much of a difference it would have made if he had played in the last few games.

"I don't think anyone knows that. All we do know is that when Boydy plays, he usually scores.

"I don't want to get caught up in why he isn't picked or doesn't want to be there.

"I'm just saying that he's a quality goalscorer."

However, McCulloch is less enthused by the prospect of Rangers boss Walter Smith returning to the Scotland hotseat.

Smith's Ibrox contract ends in January and, with a proven track record with the national team already, he could be an option for the SFA.

"He is probably the best manager that Rangers have ever had," said McCulloch.

"Day to day, he is brilliant to work with. Playing under him with your country was also fantastic.

"If Rangers lost Walter Smith, it would be a big blow. That's all I can say. The gaffer's record speaks for itself.

"I think the backroom staff we have would be perfect to take over the club whenever the gaffer did decide to go. But it's difficult to comment because I don't know the ins and outs."

Rangers duo Steven Naismith and Kenny Miller both took part in the capitulation in Cardiff but McCulloch does not expect the disappointment to have any bearing on their club form.

He said: "They're not back in until later in the week. Obviously it wasn't a great result.

"I don't know if the boys will be too down. As soon as they get back, the coaches will be on the case to lift their spirits.

"So I don't think they will be too downhearted."

Source: Team_Talk