John Wark: Christophe Berra must play at Wembley

Ipswich defender Christophe Berra during a training session ahead of the England v Scotland World Cup qualifier at Wembley. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA
Ipswich defender Christophe Berra during a training session ahead of the England v Scotland World Cup qualifier at Wembley. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA
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John Wark has urged Scotland manager Gordon Strachan to pick Christophe Berra in central defence for Friday’s crucial World Cup tie against England at Wembley.

Wark watches Ipswich Town regularly and believes the 31-year-old has earned the right to supplant either Russell Martin, currently playing right-back for Norwich, or Grant Hanley, who is notcurentl in the Newcastle side.

Berra won the last of his 33 caps in the 1-0 defeat by Italy six months ago but Wark has been impressed by his form this season.

Wark, who was Strachan’s chief scout at Coventry, said: “I know that Christophe is getting a bit frustrated because he thinks he should be in there. The two other boys are also Championship players but Berra, for me, is a proper defender. He clears the danger.

“He’s not the best player in the world but he defends for his life and he’s been great for Ipswich. And he wants this; he wants it. I would like to see him in there.”

Wark, pictured, played alongside Strachan for Scotland and netted twice in three appearances at the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain.

He is desperate to see his country end their 20-year exile from the business end of major tournaments and believes that they are capable of upsetting the odds and claiming all three points at Wembley.

“I do think it’s a good time to get England,” added Wark. “We’re underdogs but they’re under so much pressure – much worse than Scotland. It’s because they’ve lost a manager and they were completely hopeless in the Euros.

“The only thing I’m worried about is where the goals will come from but I think we’ve got a wee chance.

“I know we’re not brilliant and that’s frustrating. But look at our 
players, guys from the Championship.

“When these players walk out at Wembley, they will be lifted. I know you need ability but the Tartan Army are the best fans in the world and they lift you.”