Ogilive: Levein has free reign

02 October 2012 07:17

Campbell Ogilvie insists the Scottish Football Association will not interfere with Scotland manager Craig Levein's selection policy regardless of Steven Fletcher's ongoing exile from the national team.

Levein will name his squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Belgium at Hampden on Tuesday but there will be no place for the Sunderland striker in his plans. Fletcher has not featured for the Scots since informing the SFA by text message that he did not wish to be selected for a game against Northern Ireland in February 2011.

The 25-year-old indicated last month via Twitter that he would be willing to return to the national fold if wanted, but SFA president Ogilvie said: "It's clear-cut, it's very black and white. The manager is employed to pick the team and the players who he wants for his squad for the national team."

He added: "The team manager is employed to pick the team that he deems fit to be the best to win the games. It's not for myself or a board member to interfere in that process. I'm quite clear that it's Craig Levein's prerogative to pick which players he wishes."

The Scots took just two points from their opening two games at Hampden against Serbia and Macedonia last month and now face two potentially tricky ties on the road as they bid to steer their campaign back on track.

Ogilvie said: "We haven't set a target specifically for these two games. When we entered the draw back in July last year our aim was to qualify for the finals and that has not changed.

"I think there is a general consensus that we wanted more points from the first two games but they are two very good teams - Serbia in particular - and we've got to go into the next two games very positive and with everyone pulling together.

"We are totally behind Craig. We have played two games and we want to take something out of the next two games. It's important that everybody moves forward pulling together."

Asked if there have been any talks with Levein regarding progress so far in the group, Ogilvie added: "Not detailed discussions at this stage. e obviously spoke after the first two games. But we have played two games, there are another eight games still to go and our aim is still to qualify for the finals."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

England 2 0 0 6 6
Belgium 2 0 0 6 6
Tunisa 0 0 2 -4 0
Panama 0 0 2 -8 0
Last updated : 10:18