Belfast Telegraph

Axeing Gordon Strachan won't fix Scotland's woes, says Rangers boss Warburton

By Andy Newport

Rangers boss Mark Warburton has given his backing to Gordon Strachan - insisting sacking the Scotland boss would do nothing to solve the nation's footballing woes.

Strachan is facing serious question marks about his Hampden future after Tuesday night's damaging 3-0 defeat to Slovakia.

The result leaves the Scots' World Cup hopes hanging by a thread just three games into the Russia 2018 qualifiers.

But Warburton - who has himself faced flak this term after Gers' troubled start to the season - defended the former Celtic manager.

He claims Scotland's youngsters need to be tested more during their development if the national team is to eventually flourish.

The Englishman, who again refused to answer questions on Joey Barton's Ibrox future at his weekly press conference, said: "We need to look at far deeper issues.

"You need to offer a quality of challenge to a young player that they are not currently being faced with.

"I look at the national team and read the papers today. I see a very experienced manager, a very experienced coach.

"His credentials are there for all to see, so it's not about changing managers - it's about looking at the bigger picture.

"There is a lot of young talent in Scotland. We need to give them a chance to be the best we can be."

One of Warburton's previous jobs before taking over at Rangers saw him set up the NextGen series - a tournament which went on to become the UEFA Youth League.

Celtic are the only Scottish side currently taking part in that competition and Warburton fears that unless more of the country's prospects are forced to go up against the best Europe can offer then the national team will toil.

He said: "The young players down south get the opportunity to test themselves.

"They have the tournaments, the prestige games that matter. They are put into pressure situations time after time to prepare themselves for the transition to the first team.

"I don't think the Scottish players are being given the same opportunity."

Belfast Telegraph


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