Computer problems hinder Scotland's World Cup qualifying campaign

Burley had wanted help fixture-wise, with Old Firm clashes between Rangers and Celtic moving as far away as possible from international games.

The Scotland manager saw his predecessor Alex McLeish deprived of key players Scott Brown and Alan Hutton for the damaging 2-0 loss to Georgia in the penultimate Euro 2008 qualifier last season only for the pair to feature in a Glasgow derby four days later.

Burley has hoped next season's fixtures could be tweaked in order to give his team the best chance of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, but he has been informed by Smith that the fixture-generating computer cannot take international fixtures into account.

"We're going to be sitting down to discuss things and there will be a meeting taking place," Smith told the Daily Record. "The difficulty is they (the SPL) have their fixture list to put in place.

"Next year would be a bit easier for the season to go on longer if you take into account we had a European competition at the end of this one and players had to be released by a certain time. Next year that won't be the case.

"That (the Old Firm situation) is something we spoke about. The problem, they said, was that it is difficult to do the fixtures.

"I asked them about that and they said the difficulty came because a computer comes out with the fixtures and a computer does not take into account you have an international game on a certain date.

"You wonder why not but they say it is difficult."

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