Scotland dealt Douglas blow
By Tom Adams. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Scotland's preparations for their World Cup qualifying ties against Moldova and Belarus have been disrupted with the news that Robert Douglas has been ruled out.
The Celtic shot stopper has been undergoing painkilling injections for a heel problem and has not been deemed sufficiently fit as Scotland attempt to keep their slim hopes of qualification alive in Group Five.
Douglas, who has been the subject of an offer from Championship side Leicester, is expected to be replaced by Hearts keeper Craig Gordon.
The 22-year-old could earn his sixth cap after coming on against Italy, with Celtic youngster David Marshall set to deputise on the bench.
Walter Smith also has striking concerns as both Hibernian starlet Garry O'Connor and Dundee United's Stevie Crawford have been ruled out with back and knee injuries respectively.
Smith is also sweating over the fitness of Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher and Preston's Brian O'Neil, whilst Nigel Quashie has been sidelined with a knee complaint as Scotland attempt to make up the six-point gap between themselves and second-placed Norway.
Wins against both Moldova and Belarus would represent a morale boost for Smith's squad in his second and third games at the helm of the national team.