Former captain backs SFA over play-off
SCOTT Brown is hoping the SPFL comply with the SFA’s request not to play any Ladbrokes Premiership games on the Sunday before the Euro 2020 play-offs next year.
Steve Clarke, the national team manager, this week urged the country’s governing bodies to “do all they can” to help his side reach the finals.
And former captain Brown welcomed the news that the SFA have written to the SPFL asking them to move all of their top-flight games to the Saturday before the semi-final on Thursday, March 26. That will give the likes of Ryan Christie, James Forrest, Ryan Jack, Callum McGregor, Scott McKenna and Steven Naismith five days to prepare for the Hampden match against either Bulgaria, Hungary, Israel or Romania instead of four.
“I’m sure the SFA and clubs will help him as much as they can,” said Celtic midfielder Brown ahead of the play-off draw in Nyon this afternoon.
“We need to play our strongest 11, so it all comes down to the SFA now. It’s a huge occasion and we must make sure we give Scotland as much help as we can, to give the players time to rest. It has been a long time since we’ve been to Euros or a World Cup and we need to put the clubs on the backburner for four or five days to make sure we give Steve the best options possible.”
Hopes the SPFL could postpone Premiership fixtures altogether the weekend before the play-off semifinals and final – which will be played on March 26, and Tuesday, March 31 – and allow Clarke to take his players on a mini training camp are likely to be dashed due to a congested fixture list as well as the demands of television broadcasters.
Scott Brown shares a joke with Leigh Griffiths and Jonny Hayes during a training session