Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has defended Barry Ferguson over his decision to stay retired from international football.
Ferguson was banished from the Scotland national team by former manager George Burley following the infamous “Boozegate” incident, but was offered the chance to return by new coach Craig Levein.
However, the 32-year-old rejected the offer saying he wanted to be fresh for Birmingham and spend international breaks with his family, and has since come under fire for his decision.
But McLeish, a former Scotland player and manager, told bcfc.com: "I think Barry has taken the example of a few others like Paul Scholes, although I know that Scholes contemplated coming back this season to play for England.
"Maybe he felt fresh enough to do that because possibly he's not playing as much for Manchester United now but Barry is still going to play most of the games for us and that will put an extra demand and an extra burden on his physical state of being.
"It was his decision. He's getting criticised now for it which is unfair because nobody but him has had the experience of what he has gone through at times. He couldn't have won either way.
"If he had decided to return I'm sure there would have been people who said he shouldn't be back in the jersey again. He's better just getting his head down and working hard. He's looking in good condition and hopefully he can play to the form and the style that he played to last year."