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Scotland skipper Ferguson navigating suspension tightrope

"The one thing I'll be careful about is talking to the referee," said Ferguson. "You certainly wouldn't want to be picking up a booking for something like that. But the possibility of a suspension can't be allowed to enter your mind as far as your commitment to the game is concerned.

"I won't go out thinking I can't afford to be booked, because that would be compromising myself and I won't have that. It would be a disaster to miss the Italy game. I would be devastated, but I can't allow it to affect the way I challenge for the ball [against Georgia]."

Manager Alex McLeish shares the player's view that the threat of future punishment should not be permitted to influence his performance, and insisted that his pre-match talk with Ferguson, Kenny Miller and Gary Naysmith - the other players with a yellow card - will emphasise only the need to be careful in their dealings with the referee, Knut Kircher of Germany.

"They have the experience to deal with that," said McLeish. "Barry, for instance, will be aware of it, so all I'll mention to him is a wee reminder about the danger of giving any backchat to the referee. Complaining about a decision would be the worst way of all to get the yellow card that would keep a player out of the Italy match."

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Tribal Football Staff

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