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Bring it on, says Butcher

Terry Butcher, the former England captain, yesterday welcomed the proposal to stage the first 'Auld Enemy' friendly in Scotland for over 25 years and said it was too big a fixture to be overshadowed by Euro 2016 qualifiers.

The Scottish Football Association and the Football Association are in advanced negotiations to play a friendly on Tuesday November 18, probably at Celtic Park due to Hampden's likely unavailability due to stadium work following the Commonwealth Games.

The countries met at Wembley last August - England won 3-2 - in their first friendly since 1989, albeit there were two competitive games for the Euro 2000 play-offs in 1999.

This year's meeting, if confirmed, will take place just four days after Scotland play the Republic of Ireland on November 14, a Friday night fixture which could be staged at Ibrox. England also play a qualifier the following day, at home to Slovenia.

The importance of the Euro 2016 ties, at a point in the season when clubs also have league, Champions League and Europa League commitments, could lead to the match becoming a distraction and an inconvenience. The Hibs manager disagreed.

"I don't think you can ever overshadow an England v Scotland game," said Butcher, who also assisted the Scotland manager George Burley during the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign. "It stands alone for me. It's a fantastic fixture so I wouldn't worry about games round about it.

"From an English perspective, you don't want to lose face by losing to Scotland. For Scots, it would be a major feather in Gordon Strachan's cap to win, even if you'd never become 'world champions' by doing so because we will never be world champions again ourselves!"

Butcher played against Scotland six times among his 77 caps, winning in 1982, '83, '86 and '89, losing in '85 and drawing two years later.

"I'm delighted it's back. Having watched them as a kid and played in them I think it's something today's youngsters should be pleased to see."

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