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Japan FA backs Halilhodzic

AFC World Cup qualifiers
By ESPN Staff

Butcher thought Scots offer was a wind-up

Former England skipper Terry Butcher thought the offer to become Scotland assistant manager was a crank call.

But once he was convinced it was his old Ipswich team-mate George Burley on the line, he needed little persuading.

Butcher has agreed to join the new Scotland boss' coaching staff and will take part in the three-day get-together at Loch Lomond, which starts tomorrow.

The former Motherwell manager admitted Burley's initial approach was 'the weirdest call I have ever received'.

Initial excitement about the job was replaced with apprehension about harming Burley's reputation with the Tartan Army, but the ex-Rangers skipper realised if the Scotland boss wanted him, he should join up.

Butcher told the Herald: 'At first I thought it was a radio wind-up.

'I knew it offended people, the thought of an Englishman being part of the set-up, and I thought it would cause George a major problem.

'I wasn't concerned about what people would say about me - I have suffered more criticism than this - but I did not want this to affect George Burley's prospects. I didn't want to present an unnecessary problem for him.

'In the end, the most important thing was he wanted me so I thought, `If it is not a problem for him, it's not a problem for me'.

'The more people I spoke to, the more positive I became. They all said, `Go for it'.'