Robson expects his usual role for Scotland

BARRY Robson is confident his occasional forays in to the left-back position at Celtic will not dissuade Scotland manager George Burley from handing him a midfield role in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The former Dundee United player's versatility has been utilised at times this season by Gordon Strachan as the Celtic manager has struggled with injuries and suspensions, but the move has not always been to the benefit of the player.

Robson, 30, was left-back in a Celtic back four which came in for collective criticism after losing against Aberdeen at Pittodrie last Sunday, a result which left them just two points ahead of rivals Rangers at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

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With an international double-header against the Netherlands in Amsterdam and Iceland at Hampden coming up, Burley is monitoring his midfield options.

However, Robson, speaking at a Nationwide Building Society event in Stirling where he took part in a Q&A session with local school children, believes the Scotland manager is well aware of his situation.

"I don't think it will affect George in any way," he said. "It's only been a couple of games because we've had injuries and suspensions. I have played in positions that I prefer but it's not a problem for me to play at left-back.

"I don't think it should be a problem for the manager knowing that I am just filling in."

Robson was a latecomer to the full international scene, making his debut aged 28 in August 2007 in the friendly against South Africa, and for that reason places extra importance on his involvement with the squad, but he has been a regular fixture of the team under Burley, winning five of his six caps under the new Scotland manager.

Robson got on the scoresheet in the 2-1 World Cup qualifying win in Iceland, albeit it took the intervention of Fifa to clarify who had actually put the ball in the net. After James McFadden had seen his spot-kick saved by Iceland goalkeeper Kjartan Sturluson, four players, including the penalty taker and Robson charged in for the rebound.

McFadden and the Celtic midfielder both claimed they had got the final touch as the ball was scrambled over the line, but it was Robson who was later officially awarded the goal.

Scotland are in second place in Group 9 behind the Netherlands after three games in which they have garnered four points.

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Burley's side have two matches to play against the Netherlands, who have won their opening three matches and Robson is aware of the task that awaits them.

"We need to try and win the Iceland game and we know the Holland game is going to be really tough," he said.

"We have beaten them in the past although I'm not saying we can do that again because we are under no illusions as to how hard it is going to be.

"We know how good Holland are but we will be prepared and the manager and coaching staff will make sure of that."

Burley celebrates a year in the job on Saturday and Robson believes the first 12 months have been a qualified success.

"It has gone okay," the Parkhead midfielder said.

"The games have been pretty hard. We were outstanding in the second half against Macedonia, we had a great result in Iceland and I thought we dominated most of the game against Norway.

"If we had done better with the chances we had, it would have been a dream start.

"So, in general, we have been playing quite well.

"We have two good games coming up and so we have a lot to look forward to."

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Robson answered dozens of questions from the pupils of Cornton Primary with good humour but was reluctant to discuss Old Firm rival Kris Boyd, whose decision not to play for Burley continues to dominate the Scottish international scene.

"That's nothing to do with me; that's outwith my control," he said.

"Kris Boyd is a good players like all the rest of us and he is a good lad as well but that's something that Kris and the manager have to sort out."