Calderwood backs CrawfordAuthor: Niall Shaw Date: Wednesday, 11th Sep 2002
Dunfermline manager Jimmy Calderwood believes Scotland could have been looking at an even greater embarrassment at the weekend without Pars striker Stevie Crawford.
Crawford arrived as a half-time substitute in Toftir to spur the national side to come back from two goals down to earn a point.
Indeed, the former Raith forward was the only player who could leave the field with his pride intact after the game.
But Calderwood felt that Barry Ferguson would not have even scored the late equaliser had it not been for Crawford`s quick thinking and was not given the praise he deserved for Scotland`s rescue act.
And now the Dunfermline boss is pushing his player`s claims for a starting place in Iceland ahead of the domestic trip to Hibernian.
Calderwood said: "Stevie is his own worst critic and he said he did OK so that means he must have played well.
"That`s not surprised me. He came back from the pre-season flying and he`s been flying ever since.
"He`s a very good player and I know his fitness levels are the highest they have ever been.
"He`s a lot stronger and a lot more confident because he knows that he`s that fit.
"He is a very good player and he will become an even better one. I don`t think he got the praise he deserved for the second goal.
"It was a tremendous run, but he`s got that quality. Barry knows that Stevie`s a good player and he has that vision to do something different to other players.
"If that had have been anyone else Barry might not have made the run. He would have felt that the players wouldn`t have seen it.
"But he knows Stevie is a good player and the biggest accolade for him was Paul Lambert and Barry Ferguson, probably our best players at the moment, saying after the game he was tremendous.
"Good players like to play with good players. I`m convinced whenever he plays he won`t let anybody down.
"He`s good enough to keep playing at international level, but it`s up to the manager whether he picks him or not."
Hibernian manager Bobby Williamson will keep faith with the same squad which won at Motherwell when Dunfermline visit Easter Road.
The Edinburgh side clinched their first win of the season at Fir Park and are looking to build on that victory.