{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"sport","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/ross-county/why-jim-mcintyre-s-sacking-from-ross-county-wasn-t-much-of-a-surprise-1-4569378","id":"1.4569378","articleHeadline": "Why Jim McIntyre’s sacking from Ross County wasn’t much of a surprise","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506346125000 ,"articleLead": "

Supporters had long been losing patience with the Ross County manager, as Craig Fowler explains

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569377.1506346131!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ross County announced the sacking of manager Jim McIntyre on Monday morning. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Ross County sack management team of Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds

On the face of it this looks like the harshest sacking of recent seasons. McIntyre’s record as Ross County boss reads ninth, sixth, seventh in the league, and winners of the 2016 League Cup. Given the size of the club - they’ve only played five top flight seasons - that’s a terrific return. They’ve been poor to start this season, but it was assumed he had enough credit in the bank to survive through more than seven games before being given the chop, especially as County are still above the relegation places in tenth place.

It’s only by taking a closer look at the Highland club that you begin to appreciate why McIntyre’s past accomplishments never secured him the full backing of the fans or board. With the exception of the League Cup victory, and perhaps his first season when he managed to keep the club clear of relegation after taking over a mess of a squad from Derek Adams, there’s never been a sense that he’s overachieved.

In the past two campaigns, even though sixth and seventh were achieved, supporters believed the team was capable of more and only McIntyre’s failings stopped them from doing so.

Is this expecting too much? Though never explicitly stated, fans have long assumed that chairman Roy McGregor invests in the playing side, and that County actually spend more than a club of their size typically would.

The Sporting Intelligence survey has Ross County down in ninth for average wage of first-team player. This doesn’t paint County as much of a spending club - it correlates with their average attendances - but there are other factors to take into account. Even if we believe that this information is rock solid, with footballers notoriously reticent about discussing their wage packet, it’s still only an average per player. You could be 12th on the list with an average of £52,000 a year for each first-team member, but if you have 30 players in the squad then you’ll be paying more than a team in 7th with a player wage average of £65,000 per annum if there are only 20 players in their squad.

Ross County have traditionally had one of the bigger squads in the Scottish Premiership since they recruited a number of foreign imports at the halfway point in their debut campaign. Last season they used a whopping 33 players. There were several youngsters in this group, but again that’s only going to take their average player cost down in the SI survey, and doesn’t give a true reflection on what the likes of Andrew Davies take home per week.

McIntyre has brought in 49 players in just over three years. It not only speaks to a lack of continuity, with McIntyre prone to changing both the personnel and shape of the team at the drop of a hat, it’s also a condemnation on this season’s squad, which is fairly unbalanced. Davis Keillor-Dunn has looked good in recent weeks, but the 19-year-old is arguably the only player they have in the squad capable of taking on and beating an opponent. The only other real wide player is Michael Gardyne, and his game is more about energy, work rate and getting his crosses in early. For a manager whose main strategy tends to be to get crosses into the box, recruiting out-and-out wingers has been a blind-spot for him.

READ MORE - Ross County 0 - 1 Hibs: Paul Hanlon’s goal lifts Hibs to fourth

In the centre of midfield there’s a lack of guile, with no-one really capable of making defence splitting passes. Christopher Routis, Jamie Lindsay, Tim Chow, Jim O’Brien, and Ross Draper are all players who’ll run and get stuck in, but don’t have the ingenuity that County require.

At the back there’s a lack of presence whenever Andrew Davies isn’t playing, and in attack there are four middling options with no talisman. After Liam Boyce’s sale to Burton Albion, his place was taken by Thomas Mikkelsen and Billy Mckay. That’s one player who was unable to fire their club to the top flight last season, and another who failed to save theirs from relegation. What’s more, they’re both different players to Boyce, who had excellent technical and aerial skills. Not surprisingly, neither have hit the ground running.

Speaking of Boyce, the deployment of the striker in a deeper midfield role for three months last season was something which rankled with supporters and had many predicting gloom for the Staggies before a ball was kicked this term. Between the end of January and start of April, Ross County only won one match - against Ian Cathro’s Hearts, so it barely counts - with their top goalscorer playing in the No.10 position.

It was complete mismanagement of one of the best goalscorers in the country. Boyce only netted once, from outside the penalty area, and the club’s form plummeted. Defeat to Partick Thistle had them three points off the bottom with eight games to play, but results picked up once more when he was returned to his natural position. It was perhaps this eight-game unbeaten spell which gave McIntyre a stay of execution.

For supporters the lengthy Boyce-in-midfield trial was typical of the manager. He would often select the wrong option and then be hesitant to change. Paul Quinn never impressed in his second spell at the club following his return from Aberdeen. The defender couldn’t perform alongside Davies, as neither had the pace to deal with nippy attackers, but the pairing was persevered with for too long. A back three experiment with Jay McEveley alongside the aforementioned duo - individually they were thought to be among the highest paid players at the club - was a complete disaster, and contributed heavily to County meekly dropping their League Cup crown without being able to escape the group stages.

Even in the cup-winning campaign there were a number of question marks, most of which revolved around Martin Woods. Ironically, County might actually be missing Woods this season, as he was a player who could spot a pass, but his energy levels left a lot to be desired for a two-man central midfield duo in McIntyre’s preferred 4-4-2. Despite this, Woods appeared undroppable at times, and his presence in the side hampered the form of fan favourite Jackson Irvine, who was forced into doing the running of two men. Incredibly, when County began to waver a little around the turn of the year that season, it was Irvine who spent time on the bench.

All in all, if we’re looking at football from an emotional point of view then this sacking remains very harsh. McIntyre gave the club something nobody expected when they defeated Hibs in the League Cup final - a game where he got his tactics spot on. As a result of this, he would have felt entitled to more time in the hotseat to turn things around.

But if we’re looking at this from a business perspective, through the eyes of their chairman, then it’s hard to argue too much with the reasoning. Just like Derek Adams three years ago, McGregor no longer felt the man in charge was the right one to take the club forward. And just like with Adams, there was more than enough evidence to support his opinion.

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Griffiths slammed over Ibrox antics | Caixinha ‘squared up to Celtic coach’ | FIFA u-turn on poppies

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4569377.1506346131!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569377.1506346131!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ross County announced the sacking of manager Jim McIntyre on Monday morning. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ross County announced the sacking of manager Jim McIntyre on Monday morning. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4569377.1506346131!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/hamilton-accies/hamilton-without-midfielder-darian-mackinnon-for-rangers-clash-1-4569363","id":"1.4569363","articleHeadline": "Hamilton without midfielder Darian MacKinnon for Rangers clash","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506345168000 ,"articleLead": "

Hamilton will have to face Rangers without Darian MacKinnon, after the midfielder was sent off in the final moments of Accies’ match with St Johnstone at the weekend.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569361.1506345171!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Darian MacKinnon gets involved with St Johnstone striker Graham Cummings. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

MacKinnon was red carded for a last man foul after he was deemed to have pulled down Saints midfielder Paul Paton as he raced through on goal, denying the former Dundee United man a goalscoring opportunity.

Hamilton left McDiarmid Park empty-handed after Murray Davidson’s late header won the match for Tommy Wright’s side.

But Accies announced today that the Scottish FA confirmed that MacKinnon, who has made more than 180 appearances for the New Douglas Park side since joining from Clydebank in 2012, would serve an immediate one-match ban, ruling him out of Friday night’s home match against Rangers.

MacKinnon’s suspension leaves Accies boss Martin Canning without three midfielders, with Grant Gillespie and David Templeton both out injured.

Canning could also be without first choice ‘keeper Gary Woods, who was forced off with an injury early in the second half in Perth.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PATRICK MCPARTLIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4569361.1506345171!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569361.1506345171!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Darian MacKinnon gets involved with St Johnstone striker Graham Cummings. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Darian MacKinnon gets involved with St Johnstone striker Graham Cummings. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4569361.1506345171!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4569362.1506345175!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569362.1506345175!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "MacKinnon, far left, is shown the red card by referee Willie Collum. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "MacKinnon, far left, is shown the red card by referee Willie Collum. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4569362.1506345175!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/scott-brown-will-not-face-any-action-over-alfredo-morelos-clash-1-4569360","id":"1.4569360","articleHeadline": "Scott Brown will not face any action over Alfredo Morelos clash","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506345154000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic skipper Scott Brown will face no action over his clash with Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos, Press Association Sport understands.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569359.1506345159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Brown celebrates after Celtic's 2-0 victory at Ibrox. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Craig Gordon’s ‘top-drawer’ save key moment in Ibrox win

Ibrox boss Pedro Caixinha was left seething after his side’s 2-0 Old Firm defeat on Saturday as he accused the Hoops midfielder of aiming an elbow at his player.

The pair even ended up nose-to-nose as the teams made their way down the tunnel at half-time.

The incident occurred seconds before the interval as the Hoops player backed into Morelos before brushing the striker off with his left arm.

However, referee Craig Thomson did not even blow for a foul and now Scottish Football Association compliance officer Tony McGlennan has decided there were no incidents warranting disciplinary action during Saturday’s game.

The decision will anger Caixinha, who even warned Brown he would have sorted him out had he been on the pitch.

“I was angry at half-time, did you see it?” asked Caixinha after the defeat which has seen his team slip eight points adrift of Brendan Rodgers’ league leaders.

“It’s the second time it happened, it was the same in April. I saw an elbow from Brown and I told the fourth official - but the referee let it go.

READ MORE - Celtic’s Tom Rogic: Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha feeling the heat

“Scott Brown was coming off and I told him, ‘You do that, but if I was on the pitch you wouldn’t’.

“I wouldn’t have allowed him to put his elbow in my face. If someone does nothing I have to defend my club, my players and the truth of the game.

“It’s the referee’s decision. If he doesn’t think it’s an action to get booked or sent off, it’s his decision. I need to respect it.

“If I was a player and I had to face Brown or players like him, it would be a different thing. It was a shame that I couldn’t play because I know the mentality I have.”

However, former English top-flight referee Dermot Gallagher played down the incident.

He told Sky Sports News: “It may well be a foul for backing into him but it’s definitely not an elbow.”

And former Rangers striker Steven Thompson claims Caixinha should be more concerned with his own side’s failings.

“I was bit embarrassed for Pedro Caixinha if I’m being honest,” the pundit told BBC Scotland’s Sportscene programme. “He was trying to make a point but he should be concentrating on his own players, not Celtic’s players.

“There was nothing in it and it certainly didn’t affect Scott Brown, who was peerless.”

READ MORE - Old Firm defeat shows Rangers are still poor relations

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Andy Newport"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4569359.1506345159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569359.1506345159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scott Brown celebrates after Celtic's 2-0 victory at Ibrox. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Brown celebrates after Celtic's 2-0 victory at Ibrox. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4569359.1506345159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/scotland/scotland-name-squad-for-matches-against-slovakia-and-slovenia-1-4569207","id":"1.4569207","articleHeadline": "Scotland name squad for matches against Slovakia and Slovenia","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506340084000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scotland squad for the crunch matches against Slovakia and Slovenia has been announced.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569206.1506337934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scotland squad for the must-win matches against Slovakia and Slovenia has been announced. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

There is a return for Leeds United defender Liam Cooper, while Darren Fletcher and Steven Fletcher also return to the fold.

The pair, at Stoke City and Sheffield Wednesday respectively, both pulled out of the last squad.

Steven Fletcher played 68 minutes of Wednesday’s 4-2 loss at home to Steel City rivals Sheffield United on Sunday while Fletcher captained the Potters in their 4-0 home defeat to Chelsea.

Cooper has been a key member of the Leeds defence this season, with the Elland Road side having lost just once in the league this season. They currently sit top of the English Championship on goal difference.

Norwich City duo Russell Martin and Steven Naismith, along with Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney, miss out after being included in the squad for the matches against Lithuania and Malta.

Hibernian defender Steven Whittaker retains his place in the squad after being brought in last time around, while Millwall ‘keeper Jordan Archer has also been recalled.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PATRICK McPARTLIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4569206.1506337934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569206.1506337934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Scotland squad for the must-win matches against Slovakia and Slovenia has been announced. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scotland squad for the must-win matches against Slovakia and Slovenia has been announced. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4569206.1506337934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/aberdeen/peru-call-up-for-aberdeen-youngster-joe-macpherson-1-4569159","id":"1.4569159","articleHeadline": "Peru call-up for Aberdeen youngster Joe MacPherson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506335466000 ,"articleLead": "

Aberdeen youngster Joe MacPherson has been called up by Peru, despite being capped by Scotland at underage level.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569158.1506335472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Joe MacPherson has been called up to a Peru Under-18s training camp. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

MacPherson, who was born in Peruvian capital Lima, has been capped at Under-16 and Under-17 level by Scotland, and is one of just two foreign-based players who will travel to the Under-18s training camp.

The centre back played for Aberdeen’s development league side in the 1-0 Irn-Bru Cup win over their St Johnstone counterparts in August, and turned 17 earlier this month.

MacPherson was one of five players handed a professional contract by the Dons ahead of the 2016/17 season.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID GUNN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4569158.1506335472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569158.1506335472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Joe MacPherson has been called up to a Peru Under-18s training camp. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Joe MacPherson has been called up to a Peru Under-18s training camp. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4569158.1506335472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/scotland/fifa-set-to-perform-u-turn-on-wearing-of-poppies-1-4569095","id":"1.4569095","articleHeadline": "FIFA set to perform U-turn on wearing of poppies","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506332629000 ,"articleLead": "

FIFA has backed down in its row with the home nations over the wearing of poppies by players in international matches.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569093.1506332634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leigh Griffiths and Kyle Walker both sporting poppies as they enjoy a friendly disagreement during the England-Scotland match in November 2016. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and Wales were all fined by FIFA for ignoring warnings not to commemorate Armistice Day during their World Cup qualifiers last November.

FIFA’s stance - based on a strict interpretation of its laws against the use of personal, political or religious slogans or symbols - sparked widespread condemnation in Britain, with Prime Minister Theresa May calling it ‘utterly outrageous’ in Parliament.

READ MORE - Leader comment, November 2016: FIFA’s poppy fines defy logic

But now, 10 months after a FIFA disciplinary panel dished out those fines, football’s world governing body has sent its member associations new guidance on law four, the section of the game’s rule book on what players can wear.

In the document, FIFA says certain ‘initiatives’ may appear on players’ kits, along with the usual name, number, team crest and so on.

The document does not provide much clarity on what these ‘initiatives’ might be but says they cannot breach law 12, which refers to foul play and abusive language, and restates law four’s existing criteria which rule out wearing ‘personal’ or ‘religious...slogans, statements or images’.

This leaves ‘political’, which FIFA admits ‘is less clear’, although it obviously rules out slogans and symbols related to political parties and governments.

It adds: “When commemorating a significant national or international event, the sensibilities of the opposing team (including its supporters) and the general public should be carefully considered.”

READ MORE - Poppy row: Scotland and England await FIFA punishment

What this means in practice, is that Scotland, or any other team that wants to wear poppies on their shirts to mark Armistice Day, can do so, providing they get their opponents’ permission and inform the organisers of the match.

If England seal qualification for next summer’s World Cup in their next two games in early October, they are set to play Germany in a friendly at Wembley in November and it is understood they have already been given permission by the German FA to wear poppies during this match.

Many will see this as a victory for common sense, particularly as the FA was willing to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to contest its £35,000 fine.

As it happens, the fine was never paid and now never will be.

READ MORE - FIFA urged to drop poppy action against Scotland and England

It is understood that the smaller fines levied to the Scottish Football Association, Football Association of Wales and Irish Football Association were also not paid and will now simply be forgotten.

Having previously allowed England to wear poppies in a November friendly against Spain, FIFA’s crackdown last year certainly took the home nations by surprise.

Prior to the games, which included Scotland facing England at Wembley, FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura wrote to say no ‘exceptions’ would be made to the law, as ‘Britain is not only country that has been suffering from the result of war’.

This view was repeated a month later, when the fines were dished out, by the disciplinary panel’s Claudio Sulser who said: “In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID GUNN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4569093.1506332634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569093.1506332634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Leigh Griffiths and Kyle Walker both sporting poppies as they enjoy a friendly disagreement during the England-Scotland match in November 2016. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leigh Griffiths and Kyle Walker both sporting poppies as they enjoy a friendly disagreement during the England-Scotland match in November 2016. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4569093.1506332634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4569094.1506332635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569094.1506332635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Christophe Berra and Wayne Rooney are seen wearing poppy armbands during the England-Scotland match last November. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Christophe Berra and Wayne Rooney are seen wearing poppy armbands during the England-Scotland match last November. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4569094.1506332635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/ross-county/ross-county-sack-management-team-of-jim-mcintyre-and-billy-dodds-1-4569047","id":"1.4569047","articleHeadline": "Ross County sack management team of Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506331184000 ,"articleLead": "

Ross County have parted company with manager Jim McIntyre and assistant Billy Dodds.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569046.1506331510!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jim McIntyre lost his final game in charge against Hibs at the weekend. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Griffiths slammed over Ibrox antics | Caixinha ‘squared up to Celtic coach’ | FIFA u-turn on poppies

The club won its first game of the Ladbrokes Premiership season, beating Dundee 2-1 at Dens Park, but have picked up only one point from the following six matches.

Academy director Steven Ferguson will take over first-team duties on a temporary basis.

McIntyre led County to their first ever major trophy when they defeated Hibs 2-1 in the 2016 League Cup final.

Ironically, his final match as Staggies boss came this last weekend, where his side were beaten 1-0 by Hibs at the Global Energy Stadium.

Ross County said in a statement: “We would like to thank Jim and Billy for their dedication and hard work during their time at the club and in particular would like to acknowledge their achievement in guiding the club to winning its first piece of major silverware. We wish them both well for the future.

“The board will now begin the recruitment process and will make no further comment until that process is completed.”

READ MORE - Neil Lennon’s touchline rants win approval of Hibs’ Paul Hanlon

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4569046.1506331510!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4569046.1506331510!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jim McIntyre lost his final game in charge against Hibs at the weekend. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jim McIntyre lost his final game in charge against Hibs at the weekend. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4569046.1506331510!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/rumour-mill-griffiths-slammed-over-ibrox-antics-caixinha-squared-up-to-celtic-coach-fifa-u-turn-on-poppies-1-4568964","id":"1.4568964","articleHeadline": "Rumour Mill: Griffiths slammed over Ibrox antics | Caixinha ‘squared up to Celtic coach’ | FIFA u-turn on poppies","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506324446000 ,"articleLead": "

Leigh Griffiths criticised for Ibrox antics, Rogic claims Caixinha is ‘feeling the heat’ and FIFA realx ban on poppies

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568963.1506324451!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leigh Griffiths celebrates his goal at Ibrox - but the irrepressible striker has been told to 'grow up'. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Sutton takes aim at Griffiths over Ibrox antics

Former Celtic striker and BT Sport pundit Chris Sutton has told Leigh Griffiths to ‘grow up’ following his antics at Ibrox.

Griffiths, who scored the second goal in Celtic’s 2-0 win, was seen attempting to tie a scarf to a post as well as apparently wiping his nose on a Rangers corner flag.

Sutton said: “I’m a huge fan of [Griffiths] but he has to stop these silly antics. He got banned from Rosenborg because of it. It’s not befitting of a Celtic player to act that way. He needs to grow up.” (Various)

Caixinha ‘squared up to Kennedy’

Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha reportedly squared up to Celtic coach John Kennedy in the Ibrox tunnel at half-time of Saturday’s Old Firm game.

It is claimed that the heated argument, which began between Caixinha and Scott Brown, continued off-camera with angry words exchanged as the players made their way back to their respective dressing rooms.

Caixinha had complained about a supposed elbow on Alfredo Morelos and in the tunnel, Caixinha is said to have had a go at Kennedy, and had to be calmed down as tempers frayed. (Evening Times)

FIFA u-turn on poppies

FIFA is close to allowing the Home Nations to wear poppies on their shirts, reversing their previous decision which saw them at odds with England and Scotland last year.

World football’s governing body is proposing a change to the rulebook which will account for the differences between political symbols and charity logos, such as the poppy.

Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland were all hit with fines last year for wearing poppies on their shirts at World Cup qualifiers around Armistice Day in 2016. (Daily Mail)

Rogic claims Caixinha ‘feeling the heat’

Tom Rogic believes Pedro Caixinha’s touchline confrontation with Scott Brown at Ibrox was evidence of the daunting state of affairs facing the Rangers manager as he tries to close the gulf between his side and Celtic.

Caixinha went head-to-head with Brown at half-time of the Old Firm clash to protest at what he claimed was a deliberate elbow in the face of Alfredo Morelos from the midfielder.

Rogic has questioned Caixinha’s conduct and insisted Brendan Rodgers would never indulge in that type of behaviour, adding: “I think it maybe says a little bit about their [Rangers’] situation and where they are. (The Scotsman)

Houston sacked by Falkirk

Falkirk’s poor start to the Championship has seen manager Peter Houston, along with his coaching staff of James McDonaugh and Alan Maybury, part company with the Bairns.

Houston has been in charge at Falkirk since June 2014 and during that time he has led them to a Scottish Cup final as well as the last stage of the Premiership play-offs, where they lost to Kilmarnock.

The season started with four Betfred Cup group wins but no wins in seven league games sees Falkirk, who finished second to Hibs and Rangers in the last two seasons, sit second bottom, just one point above Brechin. (The Scotsman)

Hanlon hails Lennon rants

Paul Hanlon says Neil Lennon’s touchline rants are proving a constructive source of encouragement as the club re-adapts to life in the top-flight.

Lennon is never far from boiling point during matches but Hanlon insisted it’s good to have that level of support.

He said: “The gaffer is in a better mood than he was after Motherwell. When there’s a battle in a game, he’s kicking every ball with you. It’s good to have that support. He’s passionate and wants us to win. It drives us on.” (The Scotsman)

Levein praises ‘very, very good’ Souttar

Craig Levein believes John Souttar can develop into the complete centre-back after his latest display helped Hearts to a 1-1 draw with Partick Thistle.

Souttar was a standout as he mixed defensive solidity with a desire to get on the ball and step out from the back. Hearts have lost only one of the Premiership games Souttar has featured in this season.

Levein said: “John was very, very good. His passing and striking of the ball was exceptional. He’s only just turning 21. He’s got everything that’s needed and he’ll get tougher as he gets older and learns the position.” (Evening News)

Rodgers ‘would be happy with Anderlecht draw’

Brendan Rodgers insists he would take a draw from Celtic’s visit to Belgium this week, adding that a positive result away from home is ‘good.’

The Celtic boss said: “A draw would be a positive result. You can’t control other games but if you’re away from home and get a positive result, it’s good.

“You always want to win but if you get a draw and no-one’s gained on you? You’ll take that.” (The Scotsman)

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FORBES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568963.1506324451!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568963.1506324451!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Leigh Griffiths celebrates his goal at Ibrox - but the irrepressible striker has been told to 'grow up'. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leigh Griffiths celebrates his goal at Ibrox - but the irrepressible striker has been told to 'grow up'. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568963.1506324451!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1504802128840"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/justin-thomas-lands-10m-for-winning-fedex-cup-1-4568941","id":"1.4568941","articleHeadline": "Justin Thomas lands $10m for winning FedEx Cup","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506319490000 ,"articleLead": "

Xander Schauffele won the Tour Championship on a dramatic day at East Lake in Atlanta which saw runner-up Justin Thomas named FedEx Cup Champion, landing him a $10m bonus.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568940.1506319449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffle show off their respective trophies at the end of the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Paul Casey suffered a nightmare final round having started the day with a two-shot lead and in pole position to celebrate the recent birth of his second child by winning his first PGA Tour title since 2009 and the £7.4m pay-day.

However, the 40-year-old could only card a closing three-over-par 73 to finish nine under par, three shots behind 23-year-old rookie Schauffele, whose 68 left him a shot ahead of compatriot Thomas.

Any of the 30 players in the field theoretically had a chance of the massive payout, but only the top five in the standings were assured of doing so by claiming the $1.53m first prize.

Open champion Jordan Spieth began the week with a 200-point lead over Thomas, with world number one Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman and Jon Rahm the other players in control of their own destiny.

As the situation fluctuated on a hole-by-hole basis in the final round, Spieth was projected to win the FedEx Cup after holing his approach to the 10th for an eagle and tapping in for birdie on the 13th.

But a bogey on the 15th effectively ended his chances as Thomas moved into a share of the lead with birdies on the 16th and 17th, only for Schauffele to hold his nerve and birdie the last to win.

Thomas, whose five wins this season included a maiden major title in the US PGA Championship, told Sky Sports: “I’m bummed to not be in a play-off and have a chance to win but that was a gutsy birdie Xander made on 18.

“I was trying to win a golf tournament, winning the FedEx Cup is a great bonus.

“It’s a feeling I’ve never experienced before, it’s just weird because it didn’t come with winning the golf tournament so it’s hard to fully appreciate it. It’s a tremendous honour and I’m really excited to have my name on the trophy.”

Schauffele won $149,000 on the Web.com Tour last season, but collected more than $3.5m on Sunday.

“It feels awesome,” he said. “(I’m) a little speechless. I thought I’d missed the putt to win the tournament and fortunately it just lipped in. I was very relaxed for most of the day and got really nervous when I saw the leaderboard on 16.”

Spieth had to settle for a tie for seventh but admitted his good friend Thomas was a deserving winner of the FedEx Cup title he won himself in 2015.

“It was a great season, if I could repeat it every year for the rest of my career I certainly would,” Spieth said “I knew after the 10th hole that I could win the FedEx Cup and they just didn’t quite go my way.

“I think it’s rightfully so that he (Thomas) wins the season-long race this year. Five wins with a major championship and you’d like the FedEx Cup to go to the most deserving player for the entire year and I think that’s him.

“I almost cheated my way into winning the FedEx Cup when he really deserved it. I’m very happy for him - I’m fortunate to have done it and it’s really something else.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARVIN COLLINS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568940.1506319449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568940.1506319449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffle show off their respective trophies at the end of the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffle show off their respective trophies at the end of the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568940.1506319449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/brendan-rodgers-would-be-happy-if-celtic-draw-v-anderlecht-1-4568051","id":"1.4568051","articleHeadline": "Brendan Rodgers would be happy if Celtic draw v Anderlecht","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506315600000 ,"articleLead": "

No-one is likely to accuse Brendan Rodgers of setting the bar low in his ambitions for Celtic. The standards he has set at the club over the past 15 months speak for themselves.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568050.1506203593!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anderlecht striker Henry Onyekuru was previously on Brendan Rodgers radar and is the most obvious threat to Celtic. Photograph: Isopix/REX/Shutterstock"} ,"articleBody": "

But there are times when pragmatism has to take precedence in setting targets for the Scottish champions, which is why Rodgers, pictured, will happily settle for simply avoiding defeat at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels on Wednesday night.

Even before Celtic’s 5-0 humbling at home to Paris Saint-Germain on matchday one of the Champions League group stage, it was widely accepted that the best case scenario for Rodgers’ squad in the tournament this season would be third place in the section and progress to the last 32 of the Europa League beyond the turn of the year.

With Bayern Munich expected to join PSG in the top two slots in Group B, the focus for Celtic is on their head-to-head clashes with Anderlecht if they are to achieve their aim.

So while Rodgers won’t write off his team’s chances of picking up points elsewhere, Wednesday’s assignment in Belgium and then the return fixture against Anderlecht at Celtic Park on 5 December which will conclude the group stage campaign are crucial in his eyes.

“Yes, a draw would be a positive result in Brussels,” he says. “You can’t control the other games but if you go away from home and get a positive result, it’s good. You always want to win but if you get a draw and no-one’s gained on you? You’ll take that.

“The fact that it may come down to a contest between Anderlecht and ourselves for third place doesn’t intensify the situation, it creates a simplicity to it. We understand that these games will be important. There’s obviously other games to play in the group but, certainly, having this game and recognising what we’d like to do after Christmas in Europe this season, then this game and the return against Anderlecht will be important for us.

The Belgian champions, who lost 3-0 on matchday one to Bayern, have endured a tumultuous start to their season which saw Rene Weiler sacked as manager following a series of poor results.

Nicolas Frutos, a 36-year-old Argentinian who was a hugely popular striker at the club from 2005 to 2010, has been placed in temporary charge.

“You never know, the interim manager may come in and give them a lift,” said Rodgers. “He may come in and change the system. We will look at them and look at their last couple of games under him and plan accordingly.”

The most obvious threat to Celtic will come from Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru. The 20-year-old was on Rodgers’ radar before he moved from Eupen to Everton in a £7 million deal this summer, the Goodison club immediately loaning him to Anderlecht for the season.

“We were never really close to signing him,” said Rodgers. “Onyekuru was a player who came to our attention and we watched him. But at the time the money was going to be too much, really. We’d seen him play. In Belgium you’re always trying to gauge it because the league splits and a lot of his goals were scored in the lower half of that.

“I liked him and when I saw him as a 19 year old his numbers were high for a winger in respect of the league he was playing in. He’s very dynamic, very quick. But we never made a bid, he was just a player who came into our thinking because of his goals. But he was one clearly looking to go elsewhere.”

With most of Belgium’s leading players currently operating in Europe’s biggest leagues, there are no household names in the Anderlecht squad. Goalkeeper Matz Sels, who is on a season-long loan from Newcastle United, and midfielder Leander Dendoncker were their only players included in the most recent Belgian squad named by Roberto Martinez.

For Rodgers, a recent encounter with his fellow former Swansea manager Martinez at a testimonial game for the Welsh club’s defender Alan Tate, proved instructive on the recent success story of Belgian international football.

“They have a real golden age of players right now,” said Rodgers. “I had a good chat with Roberto on his role as Belgian manager and how he is enjoying it. He says it basically comes down to education.

“They really get them in early on, from 14 years of age they are into the schools and they know what they are doing with their system. It’s all based around their development in every facet of the game, and they take it seriously. It’s not rocket science, if you invest money into it and educate players in the best way that you can, then hopefully you can produce the players.

“They are clearly in an era now when they have big, big talents. If you watch Belgium play, you would think you were watching a Premier League team play. A high majority of them are playing in the Premier League and then you have the boy at Atletico Madrid who plays wide for them [Yannick Carrasco]. Big, big talents.

“Roberto is really enjoying the work. It’s obviously a change when you come out of club football and into international football, but it’s a great experience, and when you can work with that level of player as well it really helps.”

Rodgers also took the opportunity to press the claims of Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata for a place in Martinez’s squad for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.

“Dedryck is very much in his plans,” he added. “Roberto really likes him and that was one of the topics of our conversation.

“Dedryck’s history coming through with Belgium is very good. He obviously made a move to Manchester City and didn’t play so much there, so that has hindered him. But he has come out of that now, and if he can keep a level of fitness and availability, then there’s no doubt for me that he will be in the World Cup squad.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Stephen Halliday"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568050.1506203593!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568050.1506203593!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Anderlecht striker Henry Onyekuru was previously on Brendan Rodgers radar and is the most obvious threat to Celtic. Photograph: Isopix/REX/Shutterstock","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anderlecht striker Henry Onyekuru was previously on Brendan Rodgers radar and is the most obvious threat to Celtic. Photograph: Isopix/REX/Shutterstock","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568050.1506203593!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/paul-mcginley-i-ll-give-catriona-matthew-ryder-formula-1-4568679","id":"1.4568679","articleHeadline": "Paul McGinley: I’ll give Catriona Matthew Ryder formula","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506315600000 ,"articleLead": "

Paul McGinley has offered to share his winning 
formula for the 2014 Ryder Cup with Catriona Matthew to help her bid to also lead Europe to golfing glory at 

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568678.1506270435!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul McGinley has offered to share his winning formula for the 2014 Ryder Cup with new Solheim Cup skipper Catriona Matthew. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The Irishman said he would be delighted to help Matthew in any way he can as she prepares for the 
2019 Solheim Cup at the Perthshire venue following her appointment last week as the new European captain.

“Catriona obviously has the playing pedigree and the respect of her peers,” McGinley told The Scotsman. “Captaincy will be a new horizon and a steep learning curve for her.

“It will be an exciting, pressurised two years. It will be a great honour to captain in her home country of Scotland.”

McGinley was hailed as an outstanding captain by his players and vice-captains as he led Europe to a 16-5-11.5 victory in the Ryder Cup on the PGA 
Centenary course three years ago.

“Gleneagles can be a very strategic course when it comes to team events,” he added.

“I’ll be more than happy to speak to Catriona and share what worked for us, what we were trying to achieve with our strategies/pairings and our course set up when we meet.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568678.1506270435!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568678.1506270435!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul McGinley has offered to share his winning formula for the 2014 Ryder Cup with new Solheim Cup skipper Catriona Matthew. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul McGinley has offered to share his winning formula for the 2014 Ryder Cup with new Solheim Cup skipper Catriona Matthew. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568678.1506270435!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/celtic-s-tom-rogic-rangers-boss-pedro-caixinha-feeling-the-heat-1-4568790","id":"1.4568790","articleHeadline": "Celtic’s Tom Rogic: Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha feeling the heat","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506315600000 ,"articleLead": "

Tom Rogic believes Pedro Caixinha’s touchline confrontation with Scott Brown at Ibrox was evidence of the daunting state of affairs facing the Rangers manager as he tries to close the gulf between his side and Celtic.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568789.1506282517!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha yells at his players from the Ibrox technical area. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Caixinha went head-to-head with Celtic captain Brown at half-time of Saturday’s first Old Firm game of the campaign to protest at what he claimed was a deliberate elbow in the face of his striker Alfredo Morelos from the midfielder. Rogic, who scored the first goal in Celtic’s ultimately comfortable 2-0 win, has questioned Caixinha’s conduct and insisted the Scottish champions’ own manager Brendan Rodgers would never indulge in that type of behaviour.

The Australian international midfielder also offered a robust defence of Brown’s part in proceedings on a day which saw Celtic open up an eight-point gap between themselves and Rangers in the Scottish Premiership after just seven rounds of fixtures.

“That’s up to him,” said Rogic when asked about Caixinha’s face-off with Brown. “You certainly wouldn’t see our manager getting involved in anything like that. I think that maybe says a little bit about their [Rangers’] situation and where they are.

“I don’t know what the Rangers manager saw. That’s not really my place to comment. But Scott’s a good leader. I don’t think [he crosses the line sometimes].

“He is massive for us. You have your captain leading by example in almost all of our matches. He seems to win every 50-50 he goes into.

“He puts himself about for tackles and when the ball comes to him, he is calm and composed. He gets us set up on the right foot. He’s been at this club for years now. He is a leader who leads by example.

“He has been an exceptional player for a number of years now. He will be one that, when he stops playing, people will look back and see him as a real legend of the club.

“We are fortunate to have a captain like him to play under. It makes our job easier.

“He’s been at the club since day one for me. He’s one of the few who are still here since I joined. He doesn’t always have to say something to you, he just leads by example. It rubs off on his team-mates.”

Rogic was reluctant to offer an opinion when asked whether Caixinha’s new-look Rangers side were any closer to being able to provide a greater challenge to Celtic’s dominance this season.

“That is for other people to judge,” he said. “We just focus on ourselves. But I think that is pretty evident. It speaks for itself.

“I don’t know how Rangers compare to last season. They have brought in a lot of players, but for us it is not too important to worry about the players they have brought in. We just focus on ourselves.

“We feel as if we are getting better game after game and improving in all areas of the park. That is the most important thing. If we can keep doing that we will keep winning.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN HALLIDAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568789.1506282517!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568789.1506282517!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha yells at his players from the Ibrox technical area. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha yells at his players from the Ibrox technical area. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568789.1506282517!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/neil-lennon-s-touchline-rants-win-approval-of-hibs-paul-hanlon-1-4568801","id":"1.4568801","articleHeadline": "Neil Lennon’s touchline rants win approval of Hibs’ Paul Hanlon","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506315600000 ,"articleLead": "

Paul Hanlon, the Hibernian captain, says Neil Lennon’s wild rants and tantrums on the touchline are proving a constructive source of encouragement as the club re-adapts to life in the top-flight.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568799.1506285017!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Hanlon was Hibs' matchwinner against Ross County. Picture: SNS."} ,"articleBody": "

The former Celtic manager is never far from boiling point during matches and some of his antics and colourful outpourings in the relatively hushed confines of the Global Energy Stadium on Saturday brought smiles to the faces of supporters in the seats behind.

Lennon was first to admit after full-time that he craves a more relaxed, carefree 90 minutes than those recently delivered, with patience tested during three draws leading up to Saturday’s narrow victory.

But Hanlon, the unlikely matchwinner with his first goal of the season, feels the players are responding positively to the very vocal feedback from the sidelines.

“The gaffer is in a lot better mood tonight than he was after we lost the lead against Motherwell,” he admitted. “We deserved the three points and created the chances. If there was any criticism, he wanted us to make it a bit more comfortable.

“You know he’s always there supporting you. When there’s a battle in a game, he’s kicking every ball with you. It’s good to have that support from the sidelines. He’s over the moon with the three points and he’s as happy for us as we are for each other.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to say ‘yes, I can hear you’, but it’s great. He’s passionate and wants us to win. It drives us on. It can get a bit scary in games at 1-0 up with a team like Ross County putting pressure on, but he’s there to support us.

“You talk to everyone on the pitch, so it’s not just his voice. We have leaders on the pitch as well trying to help each other through the game. The more communication, the better.”

Victory took Hibs from sixth to four in the table, Lennon’s men having lost only once this season. With quality evident right through the squad, there is no question they have the potential to rival the challenge of Rangers and Aberdeen.

For County, who slipped to tenth place, these are worrying times. They didn’t create quite the volume of chances they had in drawing with Partick Thistle a couple of weeks ago, but again paid a price for failing to take several.

Hanlon, though, was enthused by the fluent style of much of Hibs’ play.

“I think we have the players to suit that sort of passing style,” the 27-year-old stressed. “But, at the same time, we’ve got Simon Murray up front for us who can run the channels well and get us up the pitch.

“It’s a hard league and you play hard teams every week, so you’re not always going to get your own way and play nice football. We need to be able to adapt at times as well.”

It was almost the perfect day for new dad Scott Fox, the County goalkeeper. Almost, but not quite. The result marred a man-of-the-match display on his return to the first team 24 hours after the arrival of baby daughter Harper.

Fox was dropped for two games in the aftermath of a costly moment of hesitancy against Rangers, when Alfredo Morelos was able to nick the ball from him and score.

“You can never be really happy when the team gets beaten but it was good to be back playing. I wanted to rectify the mistake against Rangers and I have had to wait a couple of weeks,” the former Celtic and Partick Thistle goalkeeper said.

“That gives you an edge to try to prove a point. I am big enough and ugly enough to know you need to move on from mistakes. It’s not my first and it won’t be my last.

“I’m strong mentally. If I was bothered about what people say about me I wouldn’t be playing football. Mistakes are going to be highlighted, a bit more with goalkeepers, and mine became an internet sensation. I just wanted to rectify it and move on.”

Arriving for interview, Fox was clutching a teddy bear, as well as the man-of-the-match award. He couldn’t wait to get home to see wife Charlotte and little Harper.

He is also confident there will soon be happy news on the football front. “No matter if you are performing well, it’s all about results, but I don’t think we’re far away,” he said. “Hibs are a very good team and their keeper made a few saves as well. I don’t think they enjoyed it.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALASDAIR FRASER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568799.1506285017!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568799.1506285017!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul Hanlon was Hibs' matchwinner against Ross County. Picture: SNS.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Hanlon was Hibs' matchwinner against Ross County. Picture: SNS.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568799.1506285017!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/craig-gordon-s-top-drawer-save-key-moment-in-ibrox-win-1-4568805","id":"1.4568805","articleHeadline": "Craig Gordon’s ‘top-drawer’ save key moment in Ibrox win","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506315600000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic defender Mikael Lustig has hailed goalkeeper Craig Gordon for the save that kept their team on course for Old Firm victory.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568804.1506285380!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Gordon keeps out Alfredo Morelos' second-half header. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Brendan Rodgers’ Ladbrokes Premiership champions were made to work by Rangers during a compelling 
first 45 minutes at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon.

But goals from Tom Rogic
and Leigh Griffiths after the break wrapped up a 2-0 
win that took the Parkhead side’s incredible domestic unbeaten run past the 500-day mark.

However, Swedish defender Lustig admits the result could have been so different had it not been for Gordon’s intervention.

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has been a vocal critic of the Scotland No 1’s displays for both club and country in recent months.

But he proved his quality with an instinctive save to stop Alfredo Morelos levelling for Rangers with a point-blank range header just moments after Rogic’s opener.

“Maybe Rangers had a short two or three-minute spell just after we scored but after that we were really comfortable,” right-back Lustig told CelticTV. “Craig made a top-drawer save to keep it at 1-0. You need a really good keeper in these games and we have got that in Craig.

“His save was vital. Maybe had they gone to 1-1 it could have been a different game. But from that moment we proved we’re the best team again.”

Victory over their Glasgow rivals – their sixth from seven clashes since Rodgers was appointed last year – was the perfect warm-up performance for Celtic as they prepare for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Anderlecht.

Rodgers’ side got their group-stage campaign off to a nightmare start two weeks ago as they lost 5-0 to French giants Paris St Germain.

But Lustig hopes they can follow up their derby triumph with another win which will put them in the box seat for a Europa League slot.

He said: “We know it’s a massive game on Wednesday, especially as we were not satisfied with the game against PSG.

“We want to be in Europe [after New Year] so hopefully we can grab some points and play some good football.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDY NEWPORT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568804.1506285380!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568804.1506285380!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig Gordon keeps out Alfredo Morelos' second-half header. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Gordon keeps out Alfredo Morelos' second-half header. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568804.1506285380!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/line-call-provides-relief-for-hearts-ross-callachan-1-4568803","id":"1.4568803","articleHeadline": "Line call provides relief for Hearts’ Ross Callachan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506315600000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts midfielder Ross Callachan was delighted to score a late equaliser – even if he wasn’t sure the ball had crossed the line.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568802.1506285206!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts Jamie Walker goes down under Jordan Turnbulls sliding tackle, but no penalty was given. Picture: SNS."} ,"articleBody": "

The 23-year-old grabbed his second goal in three games since signing from Raith Rovers when he got his head on a Manuel Milinkovic cross with only ten minutes remaining.

Despite Thistle defender Danny Devine’s valiant attempt to clear the ball off the line, referee Don Robertson awarded the goal to the delight of a 2,000-strong travelling support.

Callachan admitted he was relieved to see the goal given, saying: “I wasn’t sure if it crossed the line. I didn’t really have a good view of it but a few of the boys told me it was over.

“I just looked at the linesman and I saw his flag was down and I knew it had been given – it was a relief. There were few complaints from their players so I think they were sure it crossed the line.

“These things don’t always go for you, but thankfully it did today and we got the point at a tough venue.”

The draw maintains Hearts’ unbeaten record under the stewardship of Craig Levein and the ex-Scotland manager’s appointment has had a stabilising effect on the club’s 

This was a game that Hearts may have lost during Ian Cathro’s troubled regime, during which the integrity and commitment of the players were routinely questioned.

Callachan believes those 
criticisms were unjustified and his team-mates are beginning to answer their critics, adding: “Being a Hearts fan you want the club to do well. I think it shows on the park that I’ve got a bit of passion. We want to do well for the fans in the stand and it’s good for them to recognise that.”

Although the visitors improved after half time, Partick Thistle edged the first half and looked a constant threat, especially through the dangerous Blair Spittal.

The 21-year-old midfielder is proving to be a fantastic piece of business since signing on a free from Dundee United in the summer and Hearts were unable to cope with his darting runs from midfield.

The warning signs came after only five minutes when Spittal, after ignoring the run of Miles Storey, dragged a shot narrowly wide of the post before sending a volley over the bar.

Unperturbed, Spittal eventually opened the scoring after 18 minutes thanks to a dreadful error by Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin, who calamitously spilled the ball through his legs after Spittal was allowed to run unchallenged from the right-hand side and shoot straight at the goalkeeper.

The hosts, still searching for their first win of the season, came close to doubling their advantage on the stroke of half time, but were thwarted by the increasingly impressive John Souttar.

The defender, knocking on the door of Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad, cleared the ball off the line after Adam Barton had beaten McLaughlin to Miles Storey’s floated cross.

Both sides looked to win the game in a frantic last ten minutes but neither had a real clean-cut chance and both managers agreed a draw was a fair outcome.

Thistle’s Devine, though, was convinced he cleared Callachan’s effort off the line, declaring: “At the time I didn’t think it was a goal, and I still don’t think it was. There’s no way that the whole of the ball was over the line, but you can’t do anything about it and you have to move on.

“We’ve had three tough games against three top sides and it’s been encouraging for us. I think in all three games we’ve done ourselves justice. We had to dig deep and you can see that we were a wee bit leggy towards the end.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EUAN ROBERTSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568802.1506285206!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568802.1506285206!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts Jamie Walker goes down under Jordan Turnbulls sliding tackle, but no penalty was given. Picture: SNS.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts Jamie Walker goes down under Jordan Turnbulls sliding tackle, but no penalty was given. Picture: SNS.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568802.1506285206!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/old-firm-defeat-shows-rangers-are-still-poor-relations-1-4568810","id":"1.4568810","articleHeadline": "Old Firm defeat shows Rangers are still poor relations","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506315600000 ,"articleLead": "

Whatever form of measurement Dave King uses to assess the health of his investments, he is unlikely to find much encouragement in the early returns from Pedro Caixinha’s well-funded revamp of the Rangers squad.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568809.1506285916!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Brown was head and shoulders above Carlos Pena at Ibrox on Saturday as Celtic eased to victory over Rangers. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA"} ,"articleBody": "

King presumably watched Saturday’s Old Firm encounter unfold on Rangers TV in his Johannesburg
home. It would not have been 
comfortable viewing for the South Africa-based businessman.

If the final scoreline was more respectable than the record 5-1 defeat Rangers suffered on Celtic’s previous visit to Ibrox in April, the gap in quality between the teams was every bit as obvious. Brendan Rodgers’ side are fitter, faster and both technically and tactically superior in a “rivalry” which now barely merits the description.

While Rodgers eyes the broader horizons of a Champions League challenge which takes his team to Brussels on Wednesday for a crucial fixture against Anderlecht, Caixinha is floundering in his efforts to simply restore the competitive credibility at domestic level which is the minimum requirement for him this season.

Rangers have now dropped ten points from their first seven matches
of the Premiership campaign. It is a marginal improvement from their start to life back in the top flight last season under Mark Warburton, when they dropped 12 points over the same period, but hardly constitutes the kind of progress King would have envisaged when he gave Caixinha carte blanche to overhaul his 
playing personnel in the summer.

Six of his 11 new signings started Saturday’s match, with two more appearing from the bench, but it was difficult to detect any significant improvement. While Ryan Jack and Graham Dorrans at least added some steel in the midfield battle, especially
during the goalless first half, there was a glaring lack of creativity in that department for Rangers.

It is a quality which is supposed to be provided by Carlos Pena, Caixinha’s most expensive recruit, but the Mexican was a wretchedly ineffective performer on his first Premiership start for the Ibrox men. The 27-year-old is toiling badly to get up to speed with Scottish football and has the look of someone who has found himself in very much the wrong movie.

As the afternoon progressed, the crucial midfield battle became another mismatch as Celtic captain Scott Brown set the tempo and dictated the pattern of play for the champions. Their unbeaten domestic run under Rodgers is now stretched to 57 games and they are in no mood to relinquish their remarkably consistent dominance any time soon.

“We feel like we are going to win every game we go into,” said Tom Rogic, scorer of Celtic’s first goal five minutes into the second half when he benefited from Rangers’ failure to clear a Leigh Griffiths corner and swept a left-foot shot high beyond Wes Foderingham.

“We have that mindset. We are not too focused on the opposition going into the game, it’s important just to focus on ourselves. That’s what we did and that’s what gives us the confidence to keep going game after game and to keep winning. That’s why we’re successful, that’s why we keep going game after game unbeaten.

“We felt good out there. Our performance was good. From start to finish, we felt pretty comfortable in the match. We possibly could have had a few more goals.”

Rangers can point to a couple of key moments which, perhaps, had the potential to change the course of the game. Jozo Simunovic’s clumsy 13th-minute challenge on Alfredo Morelos prompted a credible claim for a penalty which was rejected by referee Craig Thomson, then Morelos was denied an equaliser for Rangers when his close-range header was kept out by Craig Gordon’s instinctive save.

But there was always a sense that Celtic had more than enough in the tank to do whatever was required to win. The three points were effectively wrapped up when Griffiths raced on to Patrick Roberts’ neat reverse pass and found space behind 19-year-old Ross McCrorie – who overall had a performance he can be proud of as central defensive deputy for the injured Bruno Alves – to drill a low shot past Foderingham.

“We are bitterly disappointed,” said Dorrans, Rangers’ captain for the day in the absence of Lee Wallace.

“In the first half, I thought we matched Celtic. Celtic had a lot of the ball without hurting us too much. They had a few early chances but we stayed in the game. We came out second half and they scored within five minutes which knocks us a little bit, but we got back in the game and pushed on. We had a good chance from Alfredo. Craig Gordon made a good save – with a bit of luck that goes in and the game changes. But it didn’t and they went on to get the second goal which kills us a little bit.

“Goals change games. If we had got the first goal or the equaliser we would have grown into it a little bit more. With a little bit of luck it might have done. We just need to stick together and move on.

“It’s three points dropped for us, but we have another game coming up at Hamilton on Friday. We find ourselves in this situation at the moment which is not ideal, but we need to stick together and we need to show what it means to us.

“Listen, it’s going to be tough [to get closer to Celtic]. We have got a number of new players and we are just working each other out at the minute. But there is good ability here, it’s a strong squad we’ve got. On Friday night, hopefully we can go out and get a win and start to build a bit of momentum again.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN HALLIDAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568809.1506285916!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568809.1506285916!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scott Brown was head and shoulders above Carlos Pena at Ibrox on Saturday as Celtic eased to victory over Rangers. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Brown was head and shoulders above Carlos Pena at Ibrox on Saturday as Celtic eased to victory over Rangers. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568809.1506285916!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/referees-don-t-treat-edinburgh-fairly-says-cockerill-1-4568812","id":"1.4568812","articleHeadline": "Referees don’t treat Edinburgh fairly, says Cockerill","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506315600000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill appealed to referees in the Guinness Pro14 to treat his team as potential winners rather than a side destined for defeat, after this loss at the home of the champions.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568811.1506286279!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Cockerill wanted the referee to use the TMO. Picture: SNS/SRU."} ,"articleBody": "

He had no problems with the red card for prop Michele Rizzo which snuffed out any chance of a fightback, after Edinburgh had clawed their way back into contention, but felt his team were on the wrong end of two try decisions and a 14-6 penalty count was also unfair.

“Letter of the law, whether your arms are up or not, if it is shoulder to head then I suppose you have no choice. Rules is rules, it is what it is and unfortunately for us it was very costly,” he said about Rizzo’s red card.

“I’m pleased with the players’ effort and application because the Scarlets are a good side and if you let them get on the front foot they are very dangerous.

“I thought we were a little bit unfortunate at times. The second try was crossing all day. I don’t know why the referee didn’t go to TMO – we are live on television.

“Unfortunately, because it is Edinburgh, it doesn’t get checked, but a player’s shoulder to head rightly goes to TMO. The third try is a forward pass by a mile and our players are saying the player’s foot was in touch when he made the pass.

“I just want us to be treated fairly as Edinburgh, because we are supposed to lose. That’s how I felt we were refereed, which was disappointing because John Lacey is an international referee and I expect him to referee better than that.

“Referees want respect, so they don’t want players shouting at them, but when players ask them they don’t go to the TMO. The players asked him to look at the second try and he refused. It’s crossing, he affects the inside tackler and that’s a big call because without it you’re 8-7 up at half-time.

“They deserved to win, but scratch two tries off that and it is a bonus point and, on the face of it, a better performance. We worked hard to keep them down to four tries, or, in my opinion, two.”

In particular, Edinburgh attempts to build pressure in the Scarlets 22 were frustrated by penalties, especially at the breakdown where Lacey was clearly happier with the way the Scarlets were operating. Edinburgh did show plenty of spirit, none more so than captain Magnus Bradbury, who had his best game since taking the leadership role, and try-scoring wing Jason Harries back on home turf where he came through the Scarlets age grade system.

“It’s always nice to get over the try line, especially as it was a special one tonight against my home region, but ultimately it’s all in vain because we have lost,” said Harries.

“It was exciting to play here, one I was really looking forward to and relishing. It has been a crazy week of emotions, but you have to keep that in check.

“It was good to see my mates making the effort to turn out, but my family were at a close family wedding so no mum and dad tonight, they were all at the wedding.”

Harries summed up the attitude of the Edinburgh players which pleased the coach. It seems he has learned more about his squad in the last two defeats than he did in the opening two victories.

“Last week was an unacceptable performance. Tonight, I thought parts of our performance were really good because they are a good side with very good players,” said Cockerill.

“It is a tough place to come for any team and we will have a tough Friday night in Leinster next, especially after their result this weekend, but that’s the competition so we have to learn to be able to compete with that.

“We plot and plan on the training field and we have to go to Leinster and have the same mindset because we were second, but we are not that far behind.

“You have to start somewhere and we are starting to make those changes. It will not be easy and it will not 
be painless. It wasn’t easy tonight and it was a bit 

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "HAMISH STUART"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568811.1506286279!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568811.1506286279!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Cockerill wanted the referee to use the TMO. Picture: SNS/SRU.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Cockerill wanted the referee to use the TMO. Picture: SNS/SRU.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568811.1506286279!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/hawick-are-clueless-as-heriot-s-run-riot-in-12-try-demolition-1-4568842","id":"1.4568842","articleHeadline": "Hawick are clueless as Heriot’s run riot in 12-try demolition","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506315600000 ,"articleLead": "

It wasn’t the heaviest defeat Hawick have suffered in their 145-year history but it must surely have felt like it. If Heriot’s full-back Ross Jones kicked more conversions – he missed seven out of 11 attempts – it would have been a whole lot worse.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568841.1506287050!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lee Armstrong, scorer of Hawicks solitary try, holds on to Heriots flanker Jack McLean. Picture: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

It was still a humiliating experience for the Greens, a fourth defeat in a row with 12 tries conceded and 26 overall in the league. There were few, if any, saving graces to be picked out of the carnage on the pitch.

Hawick sensed that a hiding of this magnitude was coming after losing their first three games. Former Gala coach George Graham has already been brought in as an assistant to get more out of the forwards at scrum and breakdown and, after a week in the job, he will have seen the enormity of the task in hand.

Head coach Darren Cunningham said: “I don’t know where to start. I’m in charge and take full responsibility for the result, but we all have to collectively stand up and have a look at ourselves. We are looking good in preparation for games but then, in games, it just looks like we don’t know what we are doing.

“We need to start playing rugby and we need to defend properly and not panic. Harsh words have been said in the dressing room and more harsh words will be said at training, but we have just got to keep plugging away. There are a lot of things good about us too. It didn’t look that way today, but we have to stick together and work hard. We may have to strip it back right to the very basics.”

From Heriot’s point of view, their performance was an indication of how well they are getting their act together after steadying a poor start to the season with a win over Hawks the previous week following two losses. But coach Phil Smith was far from satisfied with the clinical demolition job.

“We had some good bits obviously,” Smith said, “but it was very much open-play stuff. I didn’t feel we constructed many tries. It was turnover, a couple of phases and score.

“We are going to have to work hard on some parts of our game that were pretty poor.”

The scoring included a hat-trick of tries by former club captain Jack Turley in the back row, returning to the team after spending last season in England and instantly impressing with his skills and leadership.

Others came from blindside Michael Maltman, centre Robbie Mulvanee, left winger Craig Robertson, lock Callum Marshall, prop Stuart Cessford, full-back Jones, replacement Alex Ball, right winger Charlie Simpson and scrum-half Tom Wilson.

Lee Armstrong’s interception score did spare the Borderers a whitewash, but not their blushes.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "WILLIAM PAUL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568841.1506287050!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568841.1506287050!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lee Armstrong, scorer of Hawicks solitary try, holds on to Heriots flanker Jack McLean. Picture: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lee Armstrong, scorer of Hawicks solitary try, holds on to Heriots flanker Jack McLean. Picture: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568841.1506287050!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/motherwell/scott-mckenna-the-lynchpin-as-aberdeen-toughen-up-their-act-1-4568845","id":"1.4568845","articleHeadline": "Scott McKenna the lynchpin as Aberdeen toughen up their act","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506315600000 ,"articleLead": "

Scott McKenna repaid the faith of Derek McInnes in choosing the young centre-back to transform Aberdeen’s attitude, and also laid down a reminder to Celtic in the title race as well.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568843.1506287064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aberdeen's Scott McKenna at full-time. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The 20-year-old symbolised the rugged new approach from the Dons after their Betfred Cup exit to Motherwell last week, contributing to a shutout at Fir Park yesterday which closes the lead on the champions in the Premiership to two points.

McKenna, pictured, won praise on BBC Radio during the 1-0 win from Aberdeen’s former captain and manager Willie Miller. He also received it from McInnes, who said McKenna was the first name on his teamsheet when he arrived at work last Friday to ensure his side did not suffer another defeat at Motherwell.

“We didn’t want Celtic to run away with it too early and to stay as close to them for as long as we can,” said McKenna. “It was all about being more aggressive. We knew what they were going to do and dealt with it better than Thursday.

“The manager has asked me to be patient but he gave me my chance today. Hopefully I repaid him.

“It gives me confidence to hear someone as good as Willie
Miller was and an Aberdeen legend to say good things about me. I worked with him for a bit with the Under 15s and 17s before he left Aberdeen.”

McInnes reflected: “McKenna and Kari Arnason were both outstanding. I thought it was a good game for McKenna as he is an old-fashioned centre half. He had a tough loan spell at Ayr last season but I never lost faith in him. On Friday morning I made up my mind to play him. He and Arnason made us more physical and stronger. It was an ugly win. It wasn’t polished. But it was the type of performance that was needed and we got our reward for doing the basics right.”

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson could not hide his frustration. “I thought we deserved a minimum of a point out of that game and it probably shows how far we have come that they are celebrating and banging doors,” said Robinson. “Fair play to them, they stood up to us.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PHIL GORDON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568843.1506287064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568843.1506287064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Aberdeen's Scott McKenna at full-time. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aberdeen's Scott McKenna at full-time. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568843.1506287064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/scotland/liam-cooper-to-be-recalled-to-scotland-squad-for-qualifiers-1-4568782","id":"1.4568782","articleHeadline": "Liam Cooper to be recalled to Scotland squad for qualifiers","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506294079000 ,"articleLead": "

Leeds United defender Liam Cooper will be recalled to the Scotland squad named today by Gordon Strachan for the decisive World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Slovenia next month.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568783.1506282162!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leeds United defender Liam Cooper will be recalled to the Scotland squad. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The 26-year-old was previously included by Strachan for friendly internationals against Denmark and Canada when he was an unused substitute on both occasions.

Cooper, formerly with Hull City, will provide central defensive reinforcements for Scotland who effectively must take maximum points against Slovakia at Hampden in 5 October and Slovenia in Ljubljana three days later to secure a place in the qualification playoffs for next year’s World Cup Finals in Russia.

Strachan is also expected to name Stoke City captain Darren Fletcher and Sheffield Wednesday striker Steven Fletcher, who both missed the recent qualifiers against Lithuania and Malta through injury, in the squad he announces at Hampden today.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Stephen Halliday"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568783.1506282162!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568783.1506282162!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Leeds United defender Liam Cooper will be recalled to the Scotland squad. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leeds United defender Liam Cooper will be recalled to the Scotland squad. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568783.1506282162!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/championship/st-mirren-s-jack-ross-pays-tribute-to-two-goal-lewis-morgan-1-4568850","id":"1.4568850","articleHeadline": "St Mirren’s Jack Ross pays tribute to two-goal Lewis Morgan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506287355000 ,"articleLead": "

Jack Ross hailed his St Mirren
side as they made it seven wins in a row at home to go second in the table, and waxed lyrical about Lewis Morgan, who scored two goals in the 3-1 win over Queen of the South.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568849.1506287361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stephen McGinn of St Mirren resists a strong challenge by Queen of the Souths Kyle Jacobs. Picture: SNS."} ,"articleBody": "

Ross said: “It seems I speak about Lewis after every game but he has added finishing to his game and he is two-footed and that’s what sets him apart from other flair players.

“Seven consecutive home victories is very good at any level of football so we’re proud of that.

Saints effectively killed the game with a two-goal burst the first half as Queens never really recovered.

Hearts loanee Liam Smith’s cross in 25 minutes was laid off by Gavin Reilly and Cammy Smith burst a gut to get to the ball first and stab it into the net.

Barely three minutes later, in a similar move, Smith’s ball in from the right was deflected into the path of Morgan at the edge of the box and he hammered a low left-foot shot into the right corner.

Nine minutes into the second half Morgan scored a sensational third, smashing a right-foot shot into the left corner from 22 yards.

Gary Naysmith’s Queens tried to force their way back into the game and Craig Samson had to make good saves from Shaun Rooney and Dobbie before he was beaten in 64 minutes, when Dobbie flighted a free-kick to the back post where Jason Kerr looped a header into the right corner.

Further evidence that a Championship title challenge is emerging from East End Park was seen on Saturday as Dunfermline won 3-0 at Brechin City.

The Glebe Park men made an enterprising start but, when Lee Ashcroft’s drive was deflected into the home goal on 28 minutes, there was only going to be one winner.

Declan McManus rose to head in a cross on 55 minutes and Nicky Clark turned the ball into the net 20 minutes from time.

Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston said: “This was a 
difficult game as Brechin were well up for getting something from it. We were also expected to win and that makes things tougher.

“However we handled that to get an important result. Scoring three goals away from home and keeping a clean sheet helps momentum build.”

Dundee United kept the gap to Dunfermline at two points by defeating Morton 2-1 at Tannadice.

James Keatings blasted United into the lead on 65 minutes but the Greenock side levelled ten minutes later when Bob McHugh turned a Ricki Lamie header into the home net.

Scott McDonald kept all three points on Tayside when he shot home from close range after a Mark Durnan header had hit the post.

The Scottish Cup final in May 2015 must seem a long, long time ago for winners Inverness Caledonian Thistle who now sit in eighth place in the Championship with just one win after going down 2-1 at Dumbarton.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "LINDSAY HERRON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568849.1506287361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568849.1506287361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stephen McGinn of St Mirren resists a strong challenge by Queen of the Souths Kyle Jacobs. Picture: SNS.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stephen McGinn of St Mirren resists a strong challenge by Queen of the Souths Kyle Jacobs. Picture: SNS.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568849.1506287361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/cricket/moeen-is-in-smashing-form-with-six-hitting-masterclass-1-4568846","id":"1.4568846","articleHeadline": "Moeen is in smashing form with six-hitting masterclass","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506287058000 ,"articleLead": "

Moeen Ali just decided to “press the button” as he launched a record-breaking spree of six-hitting against West Indies.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568844.1506287064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Moeen Ali hits out on his way to making 102 as West Indies wicketkeeper Shai Hope looks on. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

After smashing England’s second-fastest one-day international hundred, which came up from just 53 balls in Bristol, Moeen agreed he has rarely felt as much in control as he did in this third Royal London Series match.

His 102 upped the ante for the hosts, his second 50 coming from a world-record 12 balls as he hit eight sixes in a total of 369 for nine – 
England’s highest in ODIs against the Windies.

Liam Plunkett’s maiden five-wicket haul in this format then ended the tourists’ run chase on 245 all out from 39.1 overs – despite Chris Gayle’s innings of 94, which included six sixes.

Moeen dominated a seventh-wicket stand of 117 with Chris Woakes, after Joe Root (84) and Ben Stokes (73) had earlier put on 132.

Asked how his remarkable innings ranked among his personal favourites for England, Moeen said: “I felt it was right up there.

“I just had a slog really, and everything just seemed to come off. I just tried to watch the ball, keep my shape and then really go for it.”

It was an uncomplicated plan which took the match away from the Windies as England went 2-0 up with two to play.

“Obviously at the time, I’m just trying to play as many shots as I can. I really enjoyed it,” Moeen added.

“You don’t think about it, and you just try to hit every ball for six really ... when it’s there just have a good go, and keep going.

“I thought we’d got ourselves in, and it was time to press the button and play a few shots – and it’s not a massive hit for six [here].”

West Indies captain Jason Holder was disappointed his team allowed England to get away from them.

“The par score on this ground was probably 320,” said Holder.

“We got off to a pretty decent start and kept up with the run-rate but kept losing wickets at crucial stages.

“Chris [Gayle] was exceptional, but we needed bigger partnerships.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID CLOUGH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568844.1506287064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568844.1506287064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Moeen Ali hits out on his way to making 102 as West Indies wicketkeeper Shai Hope looks on. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Moeen Ali hits out on his way to making 102 as West Indies wicketkeeper Shai Hope looks on. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568844.1506287064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/aberdeen/motherwell-0-1-aberdeen-robust-dons-win-ugly-1-4568837","id":"1.4568837","articleHeadline": "Motherwell 0 - 1 Aberdeen: Robust Dons win ugly","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506286752000 ,"articleLead": "

Revenge is a dish best served early. Aberdeen returned to Fir Park for a kick-off that was more Sunday brunch than lunch-time, to atone for their Betfred Cup capitulation here last Thursday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568835.1506286759!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aberdeen's Andrew Considine celebrates in front of the away support after scoring the only goal of the match. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Even with a 12.15 kick-off, Aberdeen were still backed by 1,000 fans who made the journey to see Andrew Considine’s goal which keeps the Dons 
second in the Premiership.

This was winning ugly but manager Derek McInnes will be pleased with that, as Aberdeen moved back to two points behind leaders Celtic.

His side had everything they lacked last Thursday, most notably defensive resilience. So it was fitting that one of those defenders, Considine, should produce the decisive 57th-minute touch to give Aberdeen’s title ambitions a breath of fresh air after two league draws and that cup quarter-final defeat.

Motherwell were angry about Aberdeen’s excessive celebrations, claiming it was as if the visitors had won the league. They certainly won this particular battle, ensuring
that Motherwell striker Louis
Moult was given no space to repeat his ruthless finishing performance from last 

Yet, both sides and the two sets of supporters at Fir Park impressively joined forces before kick-off for a minute’s applause for former Motherwell captain, and Scotland midfielder, Bert McCann, who died last week at the age of 84.

Once that was out of the way, though, you could see Aberdeen taking on McInnes’s game plan as a mission statement. The Aberdeen manager felt his side were bullied out of a chance of another potential cup final.

In effect, McInnes had six defenders on the pitch, with Anthony O’Connor, pushed into a midfield sitting role from centre-back to allow 20-year-old Scott McKenna to fill that central defence duties.

McKenna was drafted into the Aberdeen line-up by McInnes to add some physicality which the manager saw missing last Thursday. He belied his age with an assured display which saw him handle the robust Ryan Bowman and also create problems for Motherwell at the other end.

Indeed, the Dons might have been ahead after eight minutes when Stevie May robbed Cedric Kipre but shot just wide. That incident symbolised the turnaround in attitudes. Motherwell had been in Aberdeen’s faces in the cup tie but this time it was the visitors who showed the greater aggression.

Just before the half-hour, Considine came close with a header when his back was to goal from Kari Arnason’s flick on after Greg Tansey’s free kick. Seconds later, Kenny McLean almost turned the ball past his own goalkeeper from Gael Bigirimana’s low corner, but Joe Lewis reacted well.

That seemed to encourage Motherwell and Carl McHugh volleyed wide and then Peter Hartley’s shot was narrowly wide from another dangerous corner.

The resentment between both teams, and dugouts, which carried on from the cup-tie, meant that Motherwell’s Richard Tait returned for the second half with a caution to his name for something he had said to the Aberdeen backroom staff in the tunnel on the way out.

A more visible example of the needle came when McHugh was booked early in the second half for chopping down the ever-eager Ryan Christie.

Lewis then provided another excellent save to beat away Chris Cadden’s fierce shot from the edge of the box for a corner and, five minutes later, Aberdeen broke the deadlock.

Aberdeen had just brought on Greg Stewart for Tansey and he was involved in the move down the right wing which saw the ball played in by Shay Logan and was missed by May before it was cleverly back-heeled towards goal by Christie. He was unfortunate to see his skilful effort come off the post, but Considine pounced to stab the loose ball over the line in the melee.

The visitors endured a torrid scrutiny from Motherwell in the last 20 minutes. The hosts felt they had a claim for a penalty when Moult went down as he tried to reach a Bigirimana corner but it would have been a soft award.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PHIL GORDON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568835.1506286759!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568835.1506286759!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Aberdeen's Andrew Considine celebrates in front of the away support after scoring the only goal of the match. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aberdeen's Andrew Considine celebrates in front of the away support after scoring the only goal of the match. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568835.1506286759!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/james-tavernier-agrees-rangers-ross-mccrorie-is-a-special-talent-1-4568831","id":"1.4568831","articleHeadline": "James Tavernier agrees Rangers’ Ross McCrorie is a special talent","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506286617000 ,"articleLead": "

James Tavernier has backed manager Pedro Caixinha’s claims that Rangers have a special talent on their hands with Ross McCrorie.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568830.1506286623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fabio Cardoso and Ross McCrorie console each other at Ibrox. Picture: SNS."} ,"articleBody": "

The 19-year-old was plunged into a baptism of fire as he made his first start for the club during Saturday’s Old Firm clash with Celtic.

And while there was disappointment for Rangers as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat, McCrorie offered some hope for the future with an impressive derby bow.

His display was no surprise to Caixinha, who declared last week he would have no hesitation throwing the teenager in for injured Euro 2016 winner Bruno Alves. He said following his second-half substitute run-out against Partick Thistle on Tuesday: “Ross McCrorie is going to be one of the best centre-halves in history, not just for this club but for this country.”

Now after watching his young colleague shackle Celtic frontman Leigh Griffiths for much of the match, Tavernier says he agrees. “I thought young Ross had a cracking game for his first Old Firm,” said the Ibrox right-back. “He didn’t look out of place.

“Ross works hard in training and did really well in the pre-season games and coming on against Partick.

“Today he showed great signs of being a promising young player. As long as he keeps his head down and works hard, he’ll be a cracking centre back.”

Alves suffered a calf tear during Rangers’ Betfred Cup win over Thistle and Caixinha will be desperate to have his veteran centre-back fit for Friday’s trip to Hamilton.

The player has jetted out to Spain to have his injury assessed by the same medics who treat Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. But if Alves fails to recover, Caixinha insists he has a more-than-able deputy in Scotland Under-21 cap McCrorie.

He said: “Bruno has a Grade One on his calf so he’s doing an intensive programme with Cristiano Ronald’s physio in Madrid.

“He started on Friday and we hope to have him back on Monday to do tests to see if he’s able to play next Friday.

“But McCrorie is a player I don’t have doubts about. I like Ross a lot and he did really well. He didn’t shake and didn’t fail the test. That’s his mentality. He did his job.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDY NEWPORT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568830.1506286623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568830.1506286623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fabio Cardoso and Ross McCrorie console each other at Ibrox. Picture: SNS.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fabio Cardoso and Ross McCrorie console each other at Ibrox. Picture: SNS.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568830.1506286623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/falkirk/falkirk-sack-manager-peter-houston-1-4568814","id":"1.4568814","articleHeadline": "Falkirk sack manager Peter Houston","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506286333000 ,"articleLead": "

Falkirk’s poor start to the Championship has seen manager Peter Houston, along with his coaching staff of James McDonaugh and Alan Maybury, part company with the Bairns.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568813.1506286339!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

Former Dundee United manager Houston, pictured, has been in charge at the Falkirk Stadium since June 2014 and during that time he has led them to a Scottish Cup final as well as the last stage of the 
Premiership play-offs, where they lost to Kilmarnock.

This season started
well enough with a perfect four wins from their Betfred Cup group, even leading to talk of a return to Hearts for Houston as the Tynecastle club searched for a replacement for Ian Cathro.

However, no wins in seven league games sees Falkirk, who finished second to Hibs last season and Rangers the year before, sit second bottom, just one point above Brechin.

Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Livingston was the last straw with the club announcing last night that it had come to a mutual agreement for Houston, McDonaugh and Maybury to leave with immediate effect.

Technical director Alex Smith will take charge of the first team on an interim basis, with senior squad players Mark Kerr and Lee Miller helping out alongside academy director Michael McArdle.

A club spokesperson said: “We want to thank Peter, James and Alan for the enormous amount of work they have put in to improving the football department over the past three years.

“Under their stewardship Falkirk have enjoyed some memorable occasions, including the 2015 Scottish Cup final and two successive runners-up finishes in the Ladbrokes Championship.

“The board will take time to recruit the right management team to lead the club forward.”

Houston thanked the players, his backroom staff, the board and the fans for their support and added: “We are disappointed with the start to the season and the board and I have come to a mutual agreement that to get the club moving again it is best that someone fresh is brought in.

“It has been a decent three or so years; there have been some real highlights, including reaching the Scottish Cup final and finishing second, but we just fell short of the goals we all hoped we could achieve. It wasn’t down to lack of effort and I’ve got to thank the players for all they have put in.”

Houston added: ““I must also mention the supporters. It has been a wee bit rough recently, but through the last three years they have given great support to the club. The fans have been magnificent.”

“Finally, I’d just like to wish the club the very best moving forward. I hope whoever comes in can give the club the success it deserves and that we have been striving for over the last number of years.”

The Chair of the club Margaret Lang said: “We are all extremely disappointed that we haven’t been able to progress forward this season and as a result we have come to a mutual agreement with Peter, James and Alan.”

“I have nothing but admiration for the job all three have done for our club and wish them the very best in the next chapters of their careers.”

“We will now work to recruit the best possible management team to get the club back to winning matches, climbing the Championship table and moving towards the Premiership.”

Former Dundee manager Paul Hartley is likely to be on the club’s list of possible candidates to replace Houston, while a couple of former Falkirk managers – John Hughes and Steven Pressley – could also be in the frame.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Craig P Stewart"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568813.1506286339!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568813.1506286339!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568813.1506286339!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}