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The quiet man takes team to verge of glory.

Scotland coach Craig Brown could become a hero tonight.

He is the most unassuming manager in a World Cup full of swaggering characters and egotists.

Some say he is verging on the boring.

Yet this former college lecturer has nurtured and cajoled a group of journeyman players and made them into a team that has made all Scotland proud.

We now stand just 90 minutes away from making history.

There has been no razamatazz akin to the 1978 Ally McLeod hysteria.

And there has been no scandal inside the camp, where players have immersed themselves in a rigourous, disciplined routine.

Brown has set about his task with characteristic firm but fatherly dedication.

He has made ordinary players believe in themselves and taken them to the threshold of glory.

But he is ever cautious and never blusters about what his players are going to do. If he is confident or strained you never see it in his face.

And even if Scotland do pull off a victory against all odds, you won't find Brown celebrating with the boys.

He simply fades into the background to plan his next stage of the campaign.

Brown keeps his style for the training ground and his players do their talking on the pitch.

No matter what happens, Brown has fielded the best Scotland team we have seen.

If we win tonight, Craig Brown will go down in history as the greatest Scottish manager of all time - even greater than the legendary Jock Stein.

And, ironically, that accolade would make the modest wee man from Ayr blush.
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Smith, Anna
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 23, 1998
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