Scott Brown wants league put on ‘backburner’ in March to help Scotland

Scotland manager Steve Clarke is hoping for some help from the SPFL in March. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Scotland manager Steve Clarke is hoping for some help from the SPFL in March. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
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Scott Brown has joined calls for a Premiership shutdown in March to help with Scotland’s preparations for the Euro 2020 play-offs.

The Scots will today discover who they will host in the play-off semi-final at Hampden and whether they will be handed home advantage in the final against Norway or Serbia.

Manager Steve Clarke, hampered by a spate of call-offs since taking over from Alex McLeish in May, has called for assistance from league fixture schedulers as Scotland bid to reach the finals of a major tournament for the first time since 1998.

At the weekend, SFA president Rod Petrie also called for the SPFL to impose a league shutdown before the crucial semi-final.

Now Brown, the former Scotland captain who last night hinted he could come out of international retirement for a second time, has echoed Clarke and Petrie’s sentiments.

“It’s a huge occasion and we need to make sure we try to give Scotland as much help as we possibly can,” said Brown. “Whether it’s resting lads for five or six days before that so there is not too many games, no injuries and the manager has got a full squad to pick from…

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been to a Euros or a World Cup so we have to put that on the backburner,
whether it’s for a week or four five or days. We need to make sure we give Steve the best options possible.”

On Saturday, Petrie said: “There is a right time to ask any question. You shouldn’t ask it too early, you shouldn’t ask it too late. We are not at that time yet for March 2020.

“Broadcasters haven’t made their picks for that part of the campaign. Once we 
finish this campaign we will take a look at the play-offs.”