George Burley accused Kris Boyd of turning his back on Scotland – then insisted he has no intention of doing the same.
The national team boss is adamant he will not walk away from the job just 10 months after replacing Alex McLeish despite mounting pressure.
Burley was the target for criticism in the wake of defeat to Macedonia and Saturday’s goalless stalemate against Norway at Hampden which was another blow to Scotland’s World Cup qualification hopes.
Boyd’s decision to quit international football while Burley remains at the helm succeeded only in cranking up the pressure further on the beleaguered boss – but he claims he is going nowhere.
“I’m there for the scrap, for the fight,” Burley said.
“I’m not going to turn my back on my country, I’m going to battle with everything I’ve got.
“I’ll work as hard as I can with players who are going to give everything they can for their country and we’ll get there.”
Burley received a vote of confidence from Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith ahead of the Norway game, who assured the manager his job would be safe regardless of the result.
“I haven’t spoken to Gordon,” added Burley. “It’s for the association to do whatever.
“They’ve chosen me to do the job and I’ll stick by it and fight tooth and nail to try to get there.
“It’s important that everyone is together.
“I’ve played at every level for my country football-wise. I’ve managed for 18 years at the top level in both England and Scotland, I’ve managed in Europe.
“I was given the top job at the SFA, which I earned, and now I work with the squad. People will form their opinion but I’ve earned the right.
“Reputations don’t bother me. I’m not going to be the favourite if I upset people by leaving favourite players out.
“I’ve got to be focused, I’ve got to make tough decisions. I’m very confident in my own ability to give the best for Scotland.”
Boyd’s decision was based on his lack of involvement during the Burley era, having played just 28 minutes of six games.
He claims he deserved to be given a chance against Norway instead of dropping behind inexperienced duo Steven Fletcher and Chris Iwelumo in the pecking order.
But Burley insisted: “Reputations are in the past for me. It’s what you do now. It’s not what you did three or six months ago.
“Kenny Dalglish would still be playing if that was the yardstick.
“I go and watch games all the time and I watch training. That’s what counts.
“I don’t know what he’s shown to predecessors but I think it’s a lack of respect for his country and myself.
“Kris has decided he doesn’t want to play which I think is very disappointing. When you’re born and bred in the country and you’re turning your back it’s a big thing.
“He’s made that decision and now we’ve got to move on.”