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Scots Prem

Butcher defends Scottish football

Terry Butcher has swept aside suggestions Celtic's Nou Camp loss has left Scotland's international reputation in the gutters.

Last Updated: 12/12/13 at 15:29 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Scottish Premiership. Click here to bet.

Terry Butcher: Defended Scottish football

Terry Butcher: Defended Scottish football

The Hoops last two domestic encounters have seen them rattle in 12 goals without reply as they swept past Hearts and Motherwell.

But the Scottish champions were the ones on the receiving end of a hiding as their Champions League campaign ended with a painful 6-1 drubbing in Barcelona.

But Butcher, who takes his side to Celtic Park on Saturday on Scottish Premiership duty, hit back at claims the result is proof of the country's diminishing status on the global scene.

The former England skipper said: "I don't think you can look at last night's result and question the state of Scotland's international standing.

"A lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon slamming Scottish football, saying look at the result and the fact Barcelona were missing players.

"But they are a top, top side and I expect them to be in the last four of the Champions League again this season, if not getting to the final and actually winning it.

"In that competition, you are up against the cream of world football but I don't see any reason to slam Scottish football.

"The fact Celtic are there, and particularly with the results they had last season, is more of a reflection of how competitive Scottish football is.

"People who knock Scottish football based on one result are very blind to the fact that our game is very competitive.

"People are also jumping on that bandwagon about Celtic not being pushed. Well, we try and push them in every match and so does every other side. People just don't know what they are talking about."

Celtic were already guaranteed to finish bottom of Group H having won just one of their first five matches.

But Neil Lennon's men limped out of Europe with their tail between their legs as Brazilian talent Neymar ran amok with a hat-trick.

But Butcher does not believe the Parkhead side will be an easier opponent to topple following their traumatic Catalan experience.

"I imagine Neil will want them to bounce back and no doubt the players won't be able to wait to play us," he said.

"We have watched the game in Barcelona but I don't think it will have any bearing on the match on Saturday.

"We will go there and try to give a good performance, playing the game we want to.

"After Hearts and Motherwell, do we have anything to fear? I don't like using that word.

"We're excited about going there. We know what Celtic can do to teams as we have seen recently. If we allow them to have chances, they will put them in the back of the net."

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