Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's Brazil or Bust for Boro Boy Barry

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's Brazil or Bust for Boro Boy Barry

Article excerpt

BARRY Robson admits the World Cup finals in 2014 are likely to be his last chance to appear on the big stage for Scotland - and he is determined to keep his younger team-mates at bay to get there.

The oldest member of Craig Levein's squad celebrated his 33rd birthday yesterday by flying out from Glasgow airport ahead of Friday's friendly against Cyprus in Larnaca, where the Scots will look to get back on track after yet another unsuccessful qualification campaign for the European Championships next summer. The Middlesbrough midfielder, who made his Scotland debut in a friendly against South Africa in August 2007, accepts it might be Brazil or bust for him, but he is ready to fend off the challenge from the squad's "young upstarts".

"It could be my last chance - it probably will be because I am getting older," he said.

"But we have some other older boys in the squad and you need a balance between the older heads (and younger ones).

"I still feel fit and fresh and I am looking forward to the campaign coming. It is only 10 months away and it is an exciting time.

"It is good to see the younger kids coming through and see how buoyant and excited they are, they bring a freshness to it all.

"But I think I am even hungrier. As you get older you want to stay there and you want to prove yourself and want to prove that the young upstarts are not as good as a lot of the old ones.

"So it's great for me and the other older players to see the other young boys coming through, it just drives you on even more."

Levein believes lack of game-time hampered the Scots' Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, and to that end he is looking for four friendlies before the 2014 World Cup qualifiers begin next year.

"I think it was a big problem for us," said Robson.

"You saw the squad and team getting stronger (as the campaign went on) and the manager must take a lot of credit for that.

"We are in a wee bit of a transition at the moment.

"We are now building towards a World Cup campaign next year and the more chances we get to get together the better it is for everyone. …

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