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THE TARTAN ARMY came out with all guns blazing to mount a staunch defence of national coach Berti Vogts.

The Scots supporters were despondent at the Lithuania defeat but still believe Berti is the right man to lead the national team.

First up was Colin Murray, St Andrews, who said: "Scotland lost because of diabolical refereeing in both the senior and Under-21 matches.

"That is not Berti Vogts' fault. Given time, he will turn the Scotland team around."

James McPhee, Blantyre, said: "It is high time everybody started getting behind Berti Vogts as he is damned if he loses and the team is slated for a lack of flair even when they win.

"Berti is in a lose-lose situation and it is not fair as he is trying his best with limited resources at his disposal."

Alan Kerr, Crookston, said: "Everybody should lay off Berti Vogts. But it is high time he looked to the Scottish First, Second and Third Divisions to see if there is any talent in our game.

"Why are the SFA telling Berti to ignore all the other divisions."

They are not Alan, there is no rule that says he cannot look at all the other divisions in Scotland for international players.

David Cook, Perth, said: "The passion is missing from the Scotland team. They are just an uninspiring lot.

"It is time Vogts went with youngsters such as Shaun Maloney and James McFadden to give us something to lift our game out of the doldrums."

Eddie McGuigan, Motherwell, said: "Sven Goran Eriksson listened to the England fans and played 17-year-old Wayne Rooney against Turkey and he was rewarded with an excellent performance.

"I cannot understand for the life of me why James McFadden is not in the Scotland squad.

"Berti Vogts appealed for Scotland to have the fighting spirit of Motherwell yet there is not a Well player in his team."

Still on the subject of Scotland and some fans took exception to Birmingham City winger Paul Devlin's comments in Sports Record.

Bill Miller, Saltcoats, said: "I think Paul Devlin was unfair on the Lithuanians as this is a country that has only been independent since 1990.

"They are still developing as a nation and quite clearly they do not have the amenities Scotland have and enjoy."

Scott MacKenzie, Kilmarnock, said: "The Lithuanians played with more spirit and freedom than the Scots ever did.

"The park was the same for both sides so for Paul Devlin to highlight the sub-standards the Scots encountered in Lithuania smacked of making excuses."

On to domestic matters and David Cassidy, Caldercruix, said: "I think Celtic should resurrect their interest in Milan Rapaic.

"He was outstanding for Croatia in their 4-0 win over Belgium and scored twice.

"I think Martin O'Neill was a bit hasty in getting rid of him and Celtic should invite him back for another look as he is the kind of player the club needs."

Davie Anderson, Partick, said: "The fans who phoned in to complain about the biased commentary of John Motson and Trevor Brooking are childish.

"I'd rather listen to them than Rob MacLean and Sandy Clark any day as the BBC Scottish commentary duo are dire."

DAVID McCARTHY will take

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUS
Date:Apr 5, 2003
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