George Burley will not resign as Scotland boss and sacking him would be "negligent", according to assistant manager Terry Butcher.
Burley is fighting to keep his job after failing to lead the country into the World Cup play-offs and faces a crunch meeting with his Scottish Football Association paymasters next week.
Number two Butcher, who insists there were enough signs of progress during the Group Nine campaign for the 53-year-old to be given a second chance, told The Herald: "Changing the manager will not change the fortunes of the country for the better. Those last two games showed there is definitely a group of players who can be moulded into something really exciting."
He added: "Absolutely I am going to say he deserves another campaign. I hope he will get it because there are more positives now than 18 months ago. He will not resign; that is certain. I might not be on the plane, because I have a game with Inverness, but I fully expect George to be on it. I would be amazed if it was decided his time is up.
"This was always a long-term project. To stop it now would be negligent. If somebody wants to take him away, I would say it would be detrimental to Scotland's future."
Butcher believes Burley's bid to secure qualification was littered with unfortunate incidents both on and off the field.
But he insisted the former Ipswich and Hearts boss had the backing of both the players and fans.
"It took time to get the message over," said Butcher. "People will say this or that but there have been mitigating circumstances and the kind of things no manager should have to go through. You have to be on the inside to see what he has done and what he wants to do.
"People must surely see the difference in Scotland now. If the Tartan Army didn't want him, they would have expressed that last night. Instead, they were fantastic.
"Difficult decisions had to be made but George does not see the point in dwelling on them. We are on the right lines. There is no point in looking back; the focus now will be how to take the country and with what manager. George wants to play good football and the players have responded to what he wants."
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