England v Scotland: Terry Butcher questions timing of friendly

Inverness manager Terry Butcher

International friendly: England v Scotland

Venue:
Wembley Stadium, London
Date:
Wednesday, 14 August
Kick-off:
20:00 BST
Coverage:
Live text commentary online, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland

Former England defender Terry Butcher is disappointed by the timing of Wednesday's friendly against Scotland at Wembley.

The Inverness boss, who won 77 caps for England, said: "A special fixture like this really should be standing alone at the weekend.

"Early August internationals are always a pain in the neck for many managers.

"It might just be a comfortable friendly and most Premier League managers would be happy with that."

The Scottish top flight is just two matches into the new season, with the English Premier League ready for kick-off at the weekend.

And Butcher is worried that the first meeting of international football's oldest rivals in 14 years may suffer as a spectacle, if players are more concerned with a return to club duties.

"If it plays to type there could be a few meaty tackles flying in," the 54-year-old told BBC Scotland.

"But players these days tend to regard internationals less intensely. I hope it's not like that because I want England to win!"

Butcher played in six games against Scotland and was only on the losing side once, a 1-0 defeat at Hampden in 1985.

"I had a good record against Scotland and I'm glad to see the fixture back.

"It meant the world to me to play for my country and to stand there when the national anthem was being played was just immense.

Terry Butcher in action for England against Scotland in 1989
Butcher enjoyed playing for England against Scotland

"For Scotland and England players at Wembley it's going to be very emotional.

"We always wanted to win - we had some Scottish players in the team at Ipswich; George Burley, John Wark, Alan Brazil.

"Then, in my time at Rangers, there was a lot of Scottish lads.

"It's nice when you win but not so nice when you lose."

Some 20,000 Scottish fans are expected at Wembley, carrying on the tradition of a large travelling support for the fixture.

"In my day, the Scotland fans seemed to take over Wembley," recalls Butcher, who had a spell as assistant when Burley was manager of Scotland.

"It wasn't nice as an Englishman to see all of those Scottish flags; it was horrible.

"But it also inspired me to do well."

England are 36 places above Scotland in the Fifa rankings and will start as firm favourites but Butcher is warning against complacency.

"Scotland won't be an easy proposition," he explained. "The win they had in Croatia was excellent. They were well organised and it was a solid team performance.

"If England think they can just turn up, stroll around and win 3-0 or 4-0, that won't happen.

"Scotland have been looking forward to this fixture for a long time and I think they will do well."

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