Back off Burley! Sbragia gets tough over Sunderland keeper Gordon

06 March 2009 11:31

manager Ricky Sbragia has told Scotland boss George Burley to keep his nose out of his club's business.

Sbragia, a fellow Scot, is upset after Burley warned goalkeeper Craig Gordon his Scotland place was in jeopardy while he is out of the Sunderland team.

Former Manchester United No 2 Sbragia has said he will stick by Hungary international Marton Fulop, who will face his former club Tottenham tomorrow despite the mistake at Liverpool which cost his side a goal in their 2-0 defeat.

Sbragia, who has held talks with Gordon over his Sunderland future, says he will not be pressurised by international managers.

Frustrated: Gordon

Hungary for more: Fulop

It follows criticism from Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington after David Healy was left out repeatedly.

Scotland face Holland on March 28 and Iceland four days later in their World Cup qualifying campaign and Burley may be forced to use Rangers' Allan McGregor because of concerns over Gordon's fitness.

The former Hearts keeper has only played twice since injuring his ankle last year and Fulop looks to have the Sunderland keeper's shirt until the end of the season.

Sbragia said: 'I haven't spoken to Marton but he knows what he has done and he doesn't need me to ram it down his throat.

'With Craig breathing down his neck, his performances have got to be high. He has made one mistake in 14 games and he has made a lot of important saves for me which maybe we should have highlighted a bit more. It would be unfair to drop him for one mistake.

'What George has had to say doesn't help but what George can do is not play Craig if he doesn't think he should play but I would put money on him playing against Holland.

'I think he should really consider managing Scotland and not pick Craig if he is concerned and, as happened with Northern Ireland and David Healy, I make the decision and I don't tell George who to pick.

'But I bet Craig plays against Holland. When opportunity comes in he will get it.'

 Gordon fear: Sunderland axe may cost Craig his Scotland place, admits coach Burley

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Source: Daily_Mail