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Smith Accepts Dickov Blow

Old 03-22-05, 02:20 PM
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Smith Accepts Dickov Blow

Tue 22 Mar 2005

11:47am (UK)
Smith Accepts Dickov Blow

By Jon West, PA Sport



Scotland manager Walter Smith has described the loss of striker Paul Dickov ahead of Saturday’s clash with Italy as a “disappointment but not a surprise”.

The Blackburn striker was one of two forwards forced to withdraw because of injury, with Everton’s James McFadden the other.

Dickov would almost certainly have started in the San Siro but Smith made it clear that he accepted the forward’s persistent groin injury had ruled him out even though he has still been playing for his club.

Smith, who consulted with Rovers manager Mark Hughes, the former Wales boss, said: “It is part and parcel of international football. It is disappointing but not a surprise.

“He has been struggling for his club and has reached the stage where he has really got to stop.

“He has been playing for his club with the injury but I was aware it was causing him more and more problems.

“He played on Saturday but said it was the worst it has been. He was disappointed in himself that he has had to withdraw.”

With Darren Fletcher and Christian Dailly already having been ruled out through injury, Smith has had to rethink his initial plans to face a nation he regards as one of the best in the world.

But he has resisted the temptation to call up any reinforcements, with Hibernian’s Derek Riordan already having been told he would be joining the senior squad following duty with the Under-21s on Friday night.

Smith, who has Garry O’Connor, Kenny Miller, Stevie Crawford and Steven Thompson as alternative strike options, said: “The game plan won’t change a great deal, just the personnel.”

The game is Scotland’s first since the 1-1 draw in Moldova in October which cost Berti Vogts his job.

Smith took over in January but passed up the opportunity of a friendly warm-up last month in favour of a squad get-together in Manchester.

The clash with the Group Five favourites and current leaders is therefore his debut as Scotland manager and Smith was keen for it to kick off.

He joked: “There have been too many interviews and not enough football.”
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Old 03-22-05, 02:24 PM
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Wrong forum, Dickov.
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Old 03-22-05, 02:25 PM
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This would probably go good in a british forum. You know, where people like soccer.
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Old 03-22-05, 02:25 PM
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* snicker *
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Old 03-22-05, 02:30 PM
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[Homer]he said Dickov blow hahaha![/Homer]
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Old 03-22-05, 02:33 PM
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They spelled "favor" as "favour"

Learn English you freakin' idiots!
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Old 03-22-05, 02:36 PM
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Ew... I'm in the sports forum... get it off me.
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