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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct 13, 2008

Burley defends tactics after blank against Norway

Scotland manager George Burley has defended the tactics he used in the goalless stalemate against Norway and insisted: "I got it right''.

Burley sprung a surprise when he deployed James McFadden as a lone striker in the World Cup qualifier at Hampden after spending all week extolling the virtues of attractive, attack-minded football.

And eyebrows were raised further when he opted for the inexperienced duo of Steven Fletcher and Chris Iwelumo - who went on to miss an horrendous sitter - as second-half substitutes ahead of Kris Boyd.

The game ended in a goalless draw but Burley said: "Tactically, you look at it and assess it and I think I got it right.

"With anything, if you don't change it and don't go for it then people can say your system didn't work.

"Norway made it hard for us but when we changed it we got it right in as much as we completely dominated them, and that was the time to win the game. Unfortunately we didn't.

"But we had that opportunity in the second half and if we had scored we would have won the game.

"Changing it the way we did certainly worked. The players played the kind of football I want them to play in the second half.

"You're not going to get that many chances in international football and we needed to take one of them to win the match.

"The first goal was crucial and really we should have got it.''

Burley is expected to face the media at Hampden today to further discuss the draw against Norway and, in particular, Boyd's subsequent decision to quit international football while he remains at the helm.

But, speaking after the clash with Norway, the former Ipswich, Derby, Hearts and Southampton boss also defended his decision to place his faith in Fletcher and Iwelumo, who had just one cap between them ahead of the game.

"I felt that big Chris would give them problems in the air,'' he explained.

"Chris himself is six foot four and he needed a lot of movement round him, and I know Steven Fletcher's got that.

"He's a very talented player, very clever and I thought that combination would be right. When they did come on they worked very well together.

"Steven went deeper and big Chris is a target man. They played off each other very well.

"I wanted the balance. We needed the balance and those two gave us the balance. They did very well against decent players.

"We had a look at starting with Iwelumo but I wanted to keep the continuity going from Iceland and James McFadden played up front himself with two players wide of him.

"We wanted to keep that going but obviously Norway made it difficult for us and I knew before the game that we could change it and bring Chris on to give them problems.

"The opportunity was there to win it - that spell when we completely dominated, that was the time to finish it off.''

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