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O´Connor paves the way for Scotland return

15 February 2007 20:14

GLASGOW (AFP) - Lokomotiv Moscow striker Garry O´Connor has taken the first step towards a return to the Scotland squad by issuing a public apology for his unexplained failure to turn up for the trip to Ukraine for last October´s Euro 2008 qualifier.

O´Connor failed to appear at the team hotel on the morning after Scotland´s famous 1-0 defeat of France and has not been included in any squad since.

In a letter to the Scottish Football Association on Thursday, O´Connor wrote: "I unreservedly wish to offer my apologies for what can only be described as letting everyone down."

The player did not explain his absence, although he did refer to extenuating circumstances that had affected his behaviour.

O´Connor is hoping that he will be brought in from the cold by new Scotland boss Alex McLeish, who was previously the 23-year-old´s manager during his time at Hibernian.

O´Connor added in his letter: "My only defence is that there were extenuating circumstances in my life at the time which I have great difficulty in talking about.

"Ultimately, on reflection, I realise that this is no excuse for my behaviour and, should I be given a second chance, I intend to grab it with both hands.

"With this in mind, I have contacted the present management team to make them aware of my desire to play for my country again if selected."

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