Klug backs Burley

BRYAN Klug has backed George Burley to ride out the Scotland storm and win over the players.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

BRYAN Klug has backed George Burley to ride out the Scotland storm and win over the players.

Burley has come under fierce criticism as the Scotland manager has seen his country win one and draw one of their three World Cup qualifying games as they bid to reach the 2010 finals in South Africa.

The 52-year-old former Ipswich Town boss has also fallen out with a couple of players with Kris Boyd announcing is international retirement last week, following on the heels of Lee McCulloch, with both unhappy at not playing enough under Burley.

But Klug, who was the academy director at Portman Road when Burley was Blues boss and is now first team coach to Jim Magilton has seen it all before and is convinced Burley will hold firm with his principles.

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Klug said: “George always knew exactly what he wanted. He was always very strong and never let criticism affect him.

“He feels very strongly about his country and he will do exactly what he thinks is the right thing

“He has his beliefs and he will sticky by them.

“All the time he was at Ipswich he wanted his team to play in a certain way and George will stand up and be strong and come through.”

Burley fell out with a number of players during his tenure as Ipswich manager, most noticeably in his latter days when current Town manager Jim Magilton was among those who found himself out in the cold.

Fabian Wilnis, Matteo Sereni and Amir Karic, were also high profile bust ups involving Burley, especially in the relegation season.

Firstly he had to completely change an ageing side that had just been relegated when he took over at Christmas 1994 and then he clashed with players following the team's successful Premier League season when they finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Cup.

Klug feels that experience will help the Scot deal with dissenting international stars.

He said: “What players like about George is you know exactly where you stand with him. He backs players when he can, doesn't openly criticise them but lets them know what he wants and they generally want to play for him.

“The egos of some of the bigger players is a problem for a lot of managers but all George wants to do is the right thing and all people in football should back that.”

Although Burley has also managed Derby County and Southampton, along with Hearts in the SPL, this is his first foray into international management with the country he won 11 full caps and it will take time for him to adapt.

Klug said: “In club management you see the players every day and get to know them inside out. As Scotland manager George has had a half a dozen games and has had trouble stabilising the squad and that takes a bit of time.

“Because at club level you have every day to work players out and perhaps it is just taking George a bit longer to work that out.

“With your country you are dealing with players of a certain standard. At England in Fabio Cappello loses Ashley Cole he can bring in Wayne Bridge at club level you can't always do that,

“Given time George will sort that out with Scotland.”

Scotland currently sit second in Group Nine with four points, five behind leaders Holland, who they have yet to play.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk