David Weir has revealed he would not have been able to face his own children if he had snubbed an SOS from Scotland boss George Burley.
Rangers captain Weir, 39, was yesterday named in the squad for the must-win 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers with Macedonia and Holland, weeks after Burley told him it was time to look at younger alternatives. Veteran defender Weir quit international football once before, under the doomed regime of Berti Vogts, but he could not bring himself to do the same after being axed for this month's 4-0 thrashing in Norway.
"I've made rash decisions in the past," Weir said in the Scottish Sun. "I wouldn't say that I regret them, but what is the point in slamming doors in your own face? A lot of folk told me to just call it quits, but I don't like to think like that. I enjoy playing for my country and I'm not going to get many more opportunities to do it.
"If I'm being honest, what would have happened if my kids asked me, 'Why are you not playing for Scotland, dad?'. I can't turn round and tell them I don't want to play for my country, can I? That's the real truth of the matter I suppose."
A lot of folk told me to just call it quits, but I don't like to think
like that. I enjoy playing for my country and I'm not going to get many
more opportunities to do it.
Burley confirmed yesterday that Weir would start against Macedonia owing to injuries and suspensions. Weir added: "There are a few players missing and if I'm honest, if everyone was fit and available then I probably wouldn't be in the squad. But that's the challenge for me: to go and play well, to prove that I'm still capable of playing at that level. That's how I've always tried to operate."
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Craig Gordon insists he is fit for Scotland duty after making his first competitive appearance for four months. The Sunderland star missed the defeat in Oslo due to a lack of match fitness following knee surgery.
He played in Monday night's 4-1 Carling Cup win at Norwich and looks certain to start Scotland's final Group 9 matches against Macedonia and the Netherlands. Gordon said: "I showed what I'm capable of against Norwich and I'm delighted to be back in the Scotland squad.
"We can still qualify and we must concentrate on getting all three points against Macedonia. We've stuck together throughout this campaign, in spite of all the other things that have been going on in the background, but we can pull through and most importantly we still have a chance of reaching the play-offs.
"As far as my fitness goes, it's back to normal for me as far as I'm concerned. I suffered no reaction to the game. There are no problems with my knee so as long as I stay fit and keep my performances to a high level then I'll be looking to play for Scotland. Hopefully I can keep my place in the Sunderland team for the match against Stoke this weekend. I've missed too many games."