{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"sport","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/brendan-rodgers-urges-scott-brown-to-look-out-for-no-1-1-4346681","id":"1.4346681","articleHeadline": "Brendan Rodgers urges Scott Brown to look out for No 1","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485216001000 ,"articleLead": "

Brendan Rodgers has urged Celtic captain Scott Brown to look after number one as he considers whether to continue to make himself available for Scotland selection.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346680.1485191456!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Brown has yet to make his decision on whether to continue playing for Scotland. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Brown, who is set to make his 400th career appearance for Celtic when they face St Johnstone in a Premiership fixture tomorrow night, retired from international football at the start of this season in order to focus on his club and family commitments.

However, the 31-year-old midfielder agreed to return to Scotland manager Gordon Strachan’s squad for the World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley in November.

Brown has since been agonising over whether that was a one-off reprise of his Scotland career or whether he will commit himself further to his country’s cause in a World Cup campaign which continues with a must-win fixture against Slovenia at Hampden on 26 March. He has stated he will reach a conclusion after discussions with both Rodgers and Strachan.

From Rodgers’ perspective, the main concern is Brown’s potential involvement in Scotland’s game against England at Hampden on 10 June, shortly before Celtic return to pre-season training ahead of their Champions League qualifiers in early July.

“I think we all understood the reasons why Scott came back to play in the England game at Wembley,” said Rodgers. “Going forward, he’s got some big decisions to make.

“I think he’s clear in his own mind how he sees it evolving but my worry is for Celtic and I want to make sure he’s the best he can possibly be for Celtic.

“We’ve talked about it. I think he’s pretty clear on where I see him at, and I’ve had experiences of these types of situations, I remember it with Steven Gerrard at Liverpool and England. It has to be right for Scott.

“So he knows where he needs to be at, in order to play the game at the level he wants to be at. He’s in a different stage of his life now. He knows that. Of course I can give him my aspect on it and my feelings on it. He will speak to Gordon I’m sure. He only wants what’s best for Scotland but he also has to have a look out for himself. He’s at that stage now where he has to look after himself. I’m sure he’ll make the right decision in time.”

If Brown does extend his international career, Celtic could have as many as six players involved in Scotland’s June showdown against England with Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Stuart Armstrong, James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths also contenders for the squad.

“For players, it’s not great,” added Rodgers. “If you are playing in the Scottish Cup final at the end of May and then the internationals, you only have that short period of time off.

“If players don’t make the cup final, they will finish a bit before that but then have to kick on again for the internationals. So it’s not a good date at all.”

Brown has been revitalised under Rodgers this season, having experienced a noticeable loss of optimum form and fitness in the months prior to the former Liverpool and Swansea manager’s arrival at the Scottish champions.

Rodgers has consistently praised the contribution of his captain and repeated his admiration ahead of Brown’s landmark 400th first team outing tomorrow.

“In the modern era to accumulate that number of games at a club where the expectancy is huge is a terrific achievement,” said Rodgers.

“I’m really glad he is getting the appreciation for what he gives the team. He is now getting appreciated for his footballing qualities and his professionalism. To do that at a club like Celtic where there are challenges every single day is testament to his level of energy and desire as well as his quality on the field.

“He has been outstanding domestically and in the European games this season he was first class, if you saw his stats and numbers in relation to his passing qualities. There were enough people who said that wasn’t his strength, that he could just run about and kick people.

“But I think he has shown he can channel it in the right way. He has shown to me a high level of technical and tactical ability to play the game and it is improving all the time.

“It is massive credit to him because he has wanted to change and play the game in a different way and also play his life in a different way.

“At the end of it he has performed to an excellent level. He is a great, great fella and it is a pleasure working with him. It doesn’t matter if he is playing at the Nou Camp or playing against Albion Rovers as we did on Sunday. He is up for every game.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN HALLIDAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346680.1485191456!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346680.1485191456!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scott Brown has yet to make his decision on whether to continue playing for Scotland. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Brown has yet to make his decision on whether to continue playing for Scotland. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346680.1485191456!/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/scott-sinclair-and-kieran-tierney-back-in-routine-for-celtic-1-4346915","id":"1.4346915","articleHeadline": "Scott Sinclair and Kieran Tierney back in routine for Celtic","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485216001000 ,"articleLead": "

The involvement of Kieran Tierney was perhaps the most significant and satisfying aspect of Celtic’s comfortable Scottish Cup fourth-round victory over Albion Rovers on Sunday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346914.1485209636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Sinclair scored his 13th goal for Celtic with his stunning strike against Albion Rovers. Picture: SNS."} ,"articleBody": "

No-one welcomed the 19-year-old full-back’s return to action more than Scott Sinclair as the winger resumed a highly effective partnership with him down Celtic’s left flank which has been partially forged in the unlikely setting of an oche at the club’s training ground.

Sinclair and Tierney are both great darts enthusiasts and, while they are not yet ready to throw down a challenge to Michael van Gerwen or Gary Anderson, their own tungsten rivalry has strengthened a bond which has consistently hit the target on the field this season.

“We’ve got a really good relationship off the pitch as well,” said Sinclair. “We play darts whenever we can and we get on so well with each other. You can see that on the pitch too.

“At the moment, KT is a couple of games up on me in our darts competition. It started as a bit of banter in training as we both like the darts. One morning after training, we ended up having a game after lunch and it’s gone on from there into a series. Now that his arm injury is better, he’s improving at the darts. He is a great young player and I’m happy he is back in the team. We both know each other’s game inside out, so it’s great for both of us and for the team that he is back.”

Tierney missed 16 games after suffering ankle ligament damage during a training session in October, with his period on the sidelines also allowing him to complete rehabilitation on the arm problem to which Sinclair referred.

The highly-regarded Scotland international made a seamless return on Sunday, surging up and down the left wing to eye-catching effect before being withdrawn just after the hour mark as Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers eased him back into action on the artificial pitch at the 
Excelsior Stadium.

Sinclair believes there are no limits to how much Tierney, who has already been linked with several English Premier League clubs, can go on to achieve in his career.

“He can be as good as he wants to be,” added the 27-year-old former Manchester City player. “He’s playing regularly at such a young age and for any young player, when you are playing week in, week out, you can show your attributes and your quality. He’s been doing that and he can only get better.

“He is definitely a very grounded kid and I’m sure he’s going to keep improving and keep enjoying his football.”

Enjoyment is the biggest factor in Sinclair’s own outstanding form in his first season with Celtic as he puts the frustration of his spells at Manchester City and Aston Villa firmly behind him.

He scored his 13th goal for Celtic with the stunning strike which set them on their way to a 3-0 win over the wee Rovers on Sunday and he hopes to maintain a prolific strike rate in the second half of the campaign.

“For me, it’s just about being consistent,” said Sinclair. “When I first came here, I wasn’t just going to score one week and then not score for another four games.

“The most important thing for me is to be consistent throughout the whole season. I feel much sharper now. I’ve had a nice break, as everyone else has had in the winter break, and I’m going into the second half of the season feeling much better and ready to go again and to try to score more goals than I did in the first half of the league.

“We knew we would have to be patient against Albion Rovers. The way they set up was a credit to them for doing it well, but it was up to us to break them down and create chances. We did that in the first half and created chances where we should have put the game to bed. But we kept going and we got the win. The way they got men behind the ball and kept their structure meant it was difficult for us to break them down but it’s great for us that we did that and we got the win to take us into the next round.”

Having missed out on Celtic’s League Cup final win over Aberdeen in November because of injury, Sinclair is highly motivated to ensure he is fully involved in his team’s bid to add the Premiership title and Scottish Cup over the next few months.

They can move 22 points clear at the top of the league with a victory over St Johnstone at Celtic Park tomorrow night, while even a draw would equal the post-war record of 26 unbeaten domestic matches from the start of a season which was set by Jock Stein’s Lisbon Lions in the seminal 1966-67 campaign.

“I want to win as much as I can while I’m here,” added Sinclair. “It’s great that we can keep continuing to win our games. We are so together in the dressing room and it’s a great environment to be in. The manager has installed that as well.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN HALLIDAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346914.1485209636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346914.1485209636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scott Sinclair scored his 13th goal for Celtic with his stunning strike against Albion Rovers. Picture: SNS.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Sinclair scored his 13th goal for Celtic with his stunning strike against Albion Rovers. Picture: SNS.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346914.1485209636!/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/stenhousemuir/alan-pattullo-memories-of-rangers-kenny-miller-as-a-youngster-1-4346939","id":"1.4346939","articleHeadline": "Alan Pattullo: Memories of Rangers’ Kenny Miller as a youngster","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485216001000 ,"articleLead": "

It is strange that after 20 years of reporting on football matches, one of several
that stick out among many hundreds should have occurred at Stenhousemuir’s ground, Ochilview.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346938.1485211517!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kenny Miller is congratulated by Crawford Baptie, Martin Christie and Adrian Sprott after his second goal."} ,"articleBody": "

It isn’t as if it was a cup clash against more illustrious opposition, nor was it the scene of a cup shock. It was, though, a cup game. But a Scottish Cup second-round replay clash between Stenhousemuir and Whitehill Welfare would not ordinarily hold its charge, certainly not for nearly two decades.

But it has, because every year I learn that Kenny Miller has struck another Scottish Cup goal, or indeed witness him doing so, I think back to being there for his first goal in the competition – scored when still a teenager at dear old Ochilview in the last year of the last century, on 11 January 1999. He scored a match-winning double that day, just as he did in Saturday’s Scottish Cup fourth- round comeback win for Rangers over Motherwell. That isn’t the only reason why the game has 
survived in the memory.

It was a lovably chaotic afternoon, including a missed penalty from underdogs Whitehill Welfare when the score was still 0-0. Martin Cameron, a striker/squaddie with recent experience of being posted in Northern Ireland, and therefore somewhat accustomed to pressure, wanted to take it, before manager Mickey Lawson got involved.

As Lawson recounted afterwards: “I’m on the park saying: ‘For God’s sake don’t let the soldier take it! Give it to ‘Bongo’ Thorburn, let him have a go!’ And after the game I’m going to Cameron: ‘Why the hell did you not take the penalty?’” Suffice to say, Bongo bungled.

The fixture, played on an ice-bound pitch, was also preceded by a ding-dong between Stenhousemuir and Hibs over whether Miller would even be available. Refused permission by his parent club to appear in the first game, which finished 0-0, something happened in the interim to heighten the stakes: the winners of the replay were drawn with Rangers. at Ibrox.

Terry Christie, the Stenhousemuir manager, knew that having Miller available – he had already made his mark in the league for the club – could be crucial to progressing for the ultimate pay day, against a star-studded team including Stephen Guivarc’h, who’d played for France in a World Cup final a few months earlier.

Cue a scene where a headmaster – Christie was in charge of Musselburgh Grammar school as well as Stenny – haggled with Rod Petrie, then Hibs chief executive. Petrie, as per, drove a hard bargain, meaning Stenhousemuir, for the first and likely last time, were effectively paying around £14,000 for a player to make a single appearance for them. It turned out to be a good deal, though, since Miller’s two second-half goals earned them a £100,000 share of the gate receipts from Ibrox.

Yet another memory from the day was standing in the corridor at Ochilview, where reporters were left to gather to interview players in the understandable absence of a press room. One journalist asked Dougie Samuel, the then Whitehill Welfare midfielder and now Spartans manager, what were his plans that night following such a bitter disappointment.

“We’ll do what we normally do at this level,” he said. “We’ll go home and dream”.

If Miller went home that evening and did likewise, could he have dreamt of what was to follow? Of multi-million pound moves to Rangers, to Wolves, to Celtic and then back to Rangers again (twice), via spells in Turkey, Cardiff and Canada? Could he possibly imagine still scoring goals at 37? And not just for anyone, but for Rangers, where he continues to meet the high expectations of their supporters.

It seemed like the right time to put a call into Christie, who paid his own tribute to Miller yesterday. “Like everybody, you are amazed someone can be playing at that level at 37. If you’d said to me 18 years ago he’d be scoring goals now I’d have given you a strange look.”

Christie is especially interested in Miller’s continued achievements, having been his headmaster at Musselburgh Grammar. “I have known him since he was 12,” he said.

“I knew his dad, Jocky, well, he was a good junior footballer. 
Kenny has the same attitude as his dad, who played for a long time in junior football. Jocky kept playing until well into his thirties.”

Christie believes a simple love of the game has to be the starting point for such longevity.

“That’s the secret, a passion to push yourself, to keep fit. It is quite remarkable how fit Kenny is. It is a great tribute to him. When you see him he is actually thin and drawn looking now, because of the work he puts in.”

So what about Miller’s first 
Scottish Cup goal, does Christie still remember it?

“We were struggling, and had a veteran to thank for unlocking the defence – Albert Craig, if you remember him. Albert was a lovely wee player, he delivered a really good ball into the box and Kenny was sharp as a tack and scored the goal. It was a real quality headed finish from Kenny, and helped earn us a lot of money,” recalled Christie.

“I can’t remember the second goal, but the first one I do remember because it was such a good goal,” he added.

For the record, the second was scored from a tight angle, after 80 minutes, from Ross Hamilton’s cross – I can still remember it.

Hoping now to have done enough to merit another two-year contract from Rangers, something he surely deserves, Miller might yet make it a remarkable 20-year span of Scottish Cup goals, meaning yet more significance will be attached to a memorable frost-bitten afternoon in the 
fading light at Ochilview.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346938.1485211517!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346938.1485211517!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kenny Miller is congratulated by Crawford Baptie, Martin Christie and Adrian Sprott after his second goal.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kenny Miller is congratulated by Crawford Baptie, Martin Christie and Adrian Sprott after his second goal.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346938.1485211517!/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/hearts/john-souttar-grateful-for-lessons-from-his-new-hearts-team-mates-1-4346831","id":"1.4346831","articleHeadline": "John Souttar grateful for lessons from his new Hearts team-mates","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485216000000 ,"articleLead": "

Several Hearts players, including defender John Souttar, described Sunday’s draw with Raith Rovers as feeling like a defeat given the circumstances. It might therefore be worth the Tynecastle side treating tomorrow’s replay as a bonus match rather than an inconvenience.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346830.1485203283!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts debutant Lennard Sowah is challenged by Raith Rovers Ross Matthews and Chris Johnston. Picture: SNS."} ,"articleBody": "

Some eyebrows were raised at Ian Cathro’s evident surprise at the teams meeting again so soon after the first tie. But he seemed content enough to go again so soon.

Possibly he was viewing such an unexpected addition to the fixture list as a chance to iron out problems. With clashes to come against Celtic, Rangers and potentially Hibs in the next round of the Scottish Cup, should Hearts avoid further mishap tomorrow, he is alert to the need for his team to start gelling sooner rather than later.

Although sounding utterly despondent over the way the win had been snatched from Hearts by Declan McManus’ late equaliser, Souttar tried to focus on some of the positives from Sunday, including being able to get to know his new defensive colleagues better. He has a further chance tomorrow night. The 20 year-old Souttar was the only player in the back four not making his debut against Raith. Beside him Aaron Hughes, Lennard Sowah and Andraz Struna were all finding their feet at Stark’s Park.

“I thought we played well first half,” said Souttar. “We knew what Raith were going to do and I thought we stood up well to them. But it doesn’t matter now. It feels like a defeat because it was so late. We just need to keep the heads up and get a win on 
Wednesday.

“I thought it was good,” he added, when asked how it felt to be playing in a new-look back four. “We’ve had nine days together so we’ve got to know each other. There’s a lot of experience in there. The right-back, Andraz, has played a lot of games for Slovenia. Aaron obviously comes with a wealth of experience so it’s good.

“I try to learn from every player. There’s always something you can learn from every player, but he (Hughes) is an exception because he has made it, hasn’t he? He’s played 455 games in the (English) Premier League so it’s good for me to learn from people like that.”

Souttar is the right player to ask about Cathro since they started working together nearly ten years ago at a youth academy in Dundee. But the defender pointed out, reasonably, that what they did at under-11 level isn’t relevant now, as Hearts continue with a testing return to action after the winter break.

“It’s a long time ago,” he said. “It was about ten years ago. We were kids. It’s a lot different coaching under-11s and first team. That doesn’t matter at all. He’s my gaffer and that’s all I see him as. He’s got his ideas and we have to just put them on the pitch and turn them into results.”

Raith Rovers will be seeking to feast on the discord that is likely to grow should Hearts toil to break down the opposition tomorrow.

“We more than dominated for large parts of the second half,” said McManus, who scored the late equaliser on Sunday when turning in Rudi Skacel’s left-foot volley. “If we go and play the exact same way at Tynecastle I’m pretty sure they’ll not like it.

“It’s a big crowd but it’s a tight pitch and if we get in their 
faces as we did on Sunday then anything can happen.”

Rovers manager Gary Locke has already noted how Tynecastle, renowned for its febrile atmosphere, can sometimes work against the home team. “People say it is a great place to play when everything is going for you but when things are not going for you it can be difficult,” he said. Locke added that he knew this from his own experience, as both a player and manager at the club.

McManus, who along with Skacel is the reason the clubs are meeting again tomorrow, has had to overcome his own confidence issues at Raith after becoming a target for the fans’ frustrations. Without a goal in his previous nine outings for the club, the striker, on loan from Fleetwood Town, was especially satisfied to make such a significant impact after coming on as an 80th-minute substitute.

“It definitely has been a tough period,” he reflected yesterday. “I’ve had a few jeers off my own fans and stuff like that because we’ve not been scoring goals. They seem to think it was all my fault. But listen, that doesn’t bother me. I’m in for it for my team-mates and my manager and my club.

“Fans are more than welcome to have an opinion but that’ll not stop me working hard and trying to get goals as much as I can.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346830.1485203283!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346830.1485203283!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts debutant Lennard Sowah is challenged by Raith Rovers Ross Matthews and Chris Johnston. Picture: SNS.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts debutant Lennard Sowah is challenged by Raith Rovers Ross Matthews and Chris Johnston. Picture: SNS.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346830.1485203283!/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/more-in-sport/sanderson-s-pupils-meet-christine-black-and-catriona-matthew-1-4346884","id":"1.4346884","articleHeadline": "Sanderson’s pupils meet Christine Black and Catriona Matthew","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485216000000 ,"articleLead": "

Pupils from Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School in Tranent struck it lucky when chosen for the latest Big Hit Festival at Meadowmill Sports 
Centre.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346883.1485206720!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Catriona Matthew is an ambassador for the Scotland team."} ,"articleBody": "

In addition to being taught the skills of the game by former Commonwealth Games medallist Christine Black, the bonus for the hundred plus youngsters was meeting 
one of East Lothian’s sporting heroes, Catriona Matthew.

Matthew, Scotland’s best ever female golfer, played badminton when as a pupil at North Berwick Primary and High School – and has accepted an ambassadorial role for the TOTAL BWF World Badminton Championships to be staged at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow in August.

It was a fun day for the primary four and five pupils – and a real session of inspiration for the next generation. Katie MacKenzie, a primary five pupil, said: “Badminton is great. It is a really active sport and great fun.”

Mikey Brown and John McVey had both played before and were delighted to receive some expert tuition.

“I have a badminton set at home and play in the garden,” said Mikey. “I really like it because you can play singles or doubles.”

For primary four pupil Ruairidh Giles it was a new activity. What was best about the day? “Hitting the shuttlecock really hard,” he replied.

Matthew, meanwhile, is delighted to be involved. “I still keep a close interest in badminton,” she said. “I watch it a lot on TV and am delighted that Scotland has a lot of really good players.

“It is great that the World Championships are going to be in Glasgow this summer and, hopefully, some of the youngsters from Sanderson’s Primary will be able to go along and watch.

“I am sure it will be a terrific event and I am delighted and honoured to be appointed as an ambassador.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ELSPETH BURNSIDE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346883.1485206720!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346883.1485206720!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Catriona Matthew is an ambassador for the Scotland team.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Catriona Matthew is an ambassador for the Scotland team.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346883.1485206720!/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/twins-georgia-and-mhairi-crooks-named-in-scotland-squad-1-4346887","id":"1.4346887","articleHeadline": "Twins Georgia and Mhairi Crooks named in Scotland squad","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485216000000 ,"articleLead": "

Glasgow High School twins Georgia and Mhairi Crooks helped West win the recent Under-15 Regional Tournament and they have now both been named in the Scottish Schools team this season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346886.1485206945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Georgia, holding the shield, and Mhairi Crooks will play in the Scottish Schools team."} ,"articleBody": "

The final trials took place at Toryglen in Glasgow last week and the squad will take part in the Bob Docherty Cup.

This year the tournament takes place in Dublin from 10-13 April.

Georgia and Mhairi are both 14 and in third year at Glasgow High and are all-round sporting stars.

The have also represented the school at hockey, tennis and badminton. Last session, they helped the High School win the North Regional School Tennis title.

As for football, the two girls from Bearsden have already played for Scotland in the Under-18 Scottish Independent Schools Association.

And they have another match for the team this week. It is against Australia in 
Edinburgh.

The High School of Glasgow has a third player – sixth year pupil Oli Crawford – in the team to meet the Aussies.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ELSPETH BURNSIDE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346886.1485206945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346886.1485206945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Georgia, holding the shield, and Mhairi Crooks will play in the Scottish Schools team.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Georgia, holding the shield, and Mhairi Crooks will play in the Scottish Schools team.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346886.1485206945!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4221775.1485206950!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4221775.1485206950!/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/1.4221775.1485206950!/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/more-in-sport/keanna-sets-new-record-1-4346888","id":"1.4346888","articleHeadline": "Keanna sets new record","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485216000000 ,"articleLead": "

Keanna MacInnes (Firrhill High School) won a medal at the recent Ontario Junior International Meet in Canada - and she was in sparkling form again at the weekend’s Geneva Interational Meet.

" ,"articleBody": "

A member of a Scottish squad competing in the event, fourth year pupil MacInnes set a Championship record of 2:15 in winning the 17 and under 200m butterfly.

It was the perfect warm-up for another major event this Friday – Brodies Scottish Schools Championships at the Dollan Aquatics Centre in East Kilbride. All the Geneva competitors will be competing in the Championships that run in age groups from 12 and under right through to 17-19 years.

Lexi Waller, a schoolmate of Keanna, was a bronze medallist in the 50m backstroke in Switzerland.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/scotland-defence-coach-praises-warriors-zero-heroes-1-4346917","id":"1.4346917","articleHeadline": "Scotland defence coach praises Warriors’ zero heroes","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485216000000 ,"articleLead": "

While most eyes focused on the 43 after Glasgow Warriors’ name on Saturday night it was the 0 which followed Leicester Tigers which gave defence coach Matt Taylor the most satisfaction.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346916.1485209796!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Defence coach Matt Taylor during Scotland training at the Oriam Centre, Edinburgh."} ,"articleBody": "

That seismic result at Welford Road was still dominating conversation at the Scotland training camp yesterday, with the hope that the Warriors’ surge into the Champions Cup quarter-finals, allied with Edinburgh’s progress in the Challenge Cup, can propel Vern Cotter’s men to a momentum-sparking opening win against Ireland a week on 
Saturday.

Taylor wears the caps of 
Glasgow and Scotland, with his national role to become full-time with Gregor Townsend at the end of the season, and he was still basking in the glow of that incredible shut-out which stunned the Welford Road fortress.

“The most stressed I was on Saturday was in the last five or ten minutes, when Leicester were desperately trying to get a try,” said Taylor.

“We had spoken at half-time about not letting them score a try. I was really proud of 
the boys.

“I know they got together just before that late scrum on our line – and decided they weren’t going to let them in. That was great to see.”

The challenge now is to transfer the positivity to Scotland and Taylor added: “‘Because I’ve been involved with both teams, both systems are pretty much exactly the same.

“Like any team, 80 or 90 per cent of what we do defensively will be the same each week. Then we just tweak the rest depending on the opposition. I certainly think, over the past season or two, we’ve upped our ante defensively. We’ve 
needed to.

“It will be needed against Ireland, who are a very strong attacking team. I think the Glasgow boys have defended really well lately. If you defend well, you’ve got a really good opportunity of winning.”

There is certainly a great deal of confidence and positivity heading into this Six Nations based on a number of factors. There was improvement last year after a sticky start, with good wins over France and Italy, and that was followed up by a successful autumn and capped by excellent European results from the pro teams.

It doesn’t take long to remember, though, that Ireland first up, albeit at home, is a huge test. They are a nation who have dished out a fair few hidings to Scottish teams in recent years and only a few months ago were toppling the seemingly invincible All Blacks.

“I think maybe in the last couple of years, it’s been tough. A couple of years ago at Murrayfield, obviously they had to run in a certain number of points [to win the title] and we had a few injuries.

“Last year was a wee bit similar. So getting them at the start of the tournament is better than getting them at the end.

“I think they’re a really good side and, on both occasions, they executed really well. We probably didn’t execute as well as we should have.”

The conundrum is that Glasgow in particular have a decent record against the top Irish provinces – although they have lost three times to Munster this term – but the gulf seems to widen when it becomes dark blue versus green.

“At Glasgow, we might have two thirds of the Scotland team. Three quarters, maybe,” said Taylor. “Sometimes you play those Irish provinces and it’s not quite like that for them.

“We’re excited that we’re playing at home and playing them first, which gives us two weeks to prepare for them.

“We’re disappointed that we haven’t been able to perform as well as we’d like against them in recent years. So I think you will find us very highly motivated and ready to get right in amongst them.”

A bit of spice has been added to the pot by Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray’s suggestion that Glasgow targeted his standing leg as he was kicking.

Townsend was adamant that his team stuck to the rules and Taylor added: “I think Gregor addressed this. At Glasgow, we’re a team who want to 
put a lot of pressure on the opposition.

“Munster and Ireland have a good kicking game. So we went out there to put as much 
pressure on the opposition as possible. We did that. And we did it within the laws. It’s really important to get that across. We didn’t do anything outside the law. Listen, I think people use various methods to try to get referees on their side. I think that’s maybe what they’re trying to do.”

As defence coach, Taylor has been following closely the interpretation of the new high tackle laws and will be working with the Scotland group to ensure everyone is on the same page.

“We had a referee come in and make a presentation today on the new law, what is acceptable.

“We [Glasgow] are generally a low tackling team so that should help us. But we’ve got to be really accurate with our tackling, because sometimes the way the game is, people are falling, you come in at 
the wrong angle, you hit
 them and you could be in 
trouble.

“We have prepared for 
playing with 14 men. Today was our first session together but we have a plan in place for how we’ll defend when we’re a man down.

“As a coaching group, we’ve put something together and I’ll be working on it with the players.

“We are prepared for it and will put it on the training park.”

Taylor is pleased with the burgeoning depth in the squad. Even at lock, where the Gray brothers Richie and Jonny have been obvious choices of late, there is competition from Tim Swinson’s back-to-back man-of-the-match awards in Europe.

“Good teams become great teams when you have a lot of depth,” said Taylor.

“Over the last year or two we have created that depth with guys coming through.

“We’ve done a lot of learning over the last year or two and we’re at a point where we need to make sure those learning opportunities are translated into wins.

“This year, with what we’ve done at club level, hopefully that can lead on to some good performances in the Six Nations.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DUNCAN SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346916.1485209796!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346916.1485209796!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Defence coach Matt Taylor during Scotland training at the Oriam Centre, Edinburgh.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Defence coach Matt Taylor during Scotland training at the Oriam Centre, Edinburgh.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346916.1485209796!/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/more-in-sport/dunfermline-water-polo-quintet-chosen-for-asa-inter-regions-1-4346927","id":"1.4346927","articleHeadline": "Dunfermline water polo quintet chosen for ASA Inter-regions","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485216000000 ,"articleLead": "

Five youngsters from Dunfermline Water Polo Club have been selected to compete in the ASA Inter-regions for 
players born after 2000.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346926.1485210329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

Thomas Cameron (Woodmill High School), Matthew Crighton (Dundee and Angus 
College), Finlay Nesbitt (Kinross High School), Euan Broatch (Queen Anne High School) and Craig Stewart (Dollar Academy) will compete in the event in Watford next month.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ELSPETH BURNSIDE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346926.1485210329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346926.1485210329!/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/1.4346926.1485210329!/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/business/companies/media-leisure/manor-f1-team-in-race-against-clock-to-stay-on-track-1-4346469","id":"1.4346469","articleHeadline": "Manor F1 team in race against clock to stay on track","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485180821000 ,"articleLead": "

The Manor Formula 1 team is facing a race against the clock to secure its survival as the cash available to pay its 200 staff is set to run out within days.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346468.1485180761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Manor F1 team collapsed into administration earlier this month. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The group, which collapsed into administration earlier this month, requires new owners to inject money into the team so it can pay for the completion of testing before the start of the Formula 1 season in March.

It is understood that while several bidders have expressed an interest in the group, none have submitted formal offers with money to pay staff quickly evaporating.

READ MORE: Manor Formula 1 team slides into administration

A spokesman for administrators at FRP Advisory said: “Administrators informed staff earlier this month that they were comfortable that finances were in place to pay salaries until the end of January. This has allowed ongoing talks with interested parties to continue into this week.

“While there is still nothing further to announce, we can confirm that talks continue with all parties in an attempt to secure the necessary funding to allow work on testing for entry into the 2017 season to continue.”

If Manor fails to find a rescuer by 31 January, a number of the 200 staff could face the axe.

The spokesman added: “Everyone involved in the talks is focused on the team being in the best possible position for the first race of the 2017 season. However, the administrators have to keep a continuous review of the financial position of the business.”

Manor had previously been backed by energy boss Stephen Fitzpatrick, the founder of OVO.

FRP has said that the team’s participation in the 2017 Formula 1 season, which begins on 26 March in Melbourne, Australia, will “depend on the outcome of the administration process and any related negotiations with interested parties in what is a very limited window of opportunity”.

Administrators pointed out that Manor Grand Prix Racing, which has the rights for Manor’s participation in F1, is not in administration.

Click here to ‘Like’ The Scotsman Business on Facebook

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RAVENDER SEMBHY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346468.1485180761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346468.1485180761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Manor F1 team collapsed into administration earlier this month. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Manor F1 team collapsed into administration earlier this month. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346468.1485180761!/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/bullish-hogg-says-scots-are-emboldened-by-euro-glory-1-4346858","id":"1.4346858","articleHeadline": "Bullish Hogg says Scots are emboldened by Euro glory","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485211960000 ,"articleLead": "

Full-back Stuart Hogg revealed it was a buoyant Scotland squad who checked into Six Nations training camp yesterday off the back of a glory weekend for the nation’s clubs in Europe.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346857.1485203528!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg, left, and hooker Stuart McInally during training at the Orian Centre yesterday. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Hogg played his part in 
Glasgow’s extraordinary 43-0 rout at Leicester Tigers on 
Saturday evening, which booked the Warriors a first-ever last-eight spot in the elite Champions Cup – a day after Edinburgh had marched into the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

It means that all but four of the 36 players who joined Vern Cotter and his staff at the Oriam performance centre are still involved in European competition with their clubs.

For the record, Huw Jones who plays his rugby in South Africa, Jon Welsh of Newcastle, John Barclay of Scarlets and Tim Visser of Harlequins are the odd men out.

Hogg said that club exploits were feeding into the national team and consigning the fear factor to the past.

“I’m not going to lie, there was times in years gone by when we were scared about what was going to happen,” said Hogg

“But now we’re confident about going down and getting the job done. We believe we have the playing staff, the structures and the coaching staff to get us victories.

“Everyone is excited about the challenges ahead. We are coming in with a good bit of confidence, the club sides are going well.It is good that the boys are coming in with smiles on their faces and excited about the challenges ahead.

“Here is hoping everybody can continue their form in a Scotland jersey.”

Cotter addressed the squad and congratulated the players on their European achievements, urging them to take the feelgood factor into the Six Nations, which opens against Ireland at BT Murrayfield a week on Saturday.

“He [Cotter] kept a bit of balance,” said Hogg. “Play with the confidence to try things within the gameplan, go out and express ourselves and have some fun.

“We will train hard, work hard and see where opportunities lie against Ireland and will try to exploit them when it comes to the game.”

Hogg was named player of the tournament last year but doesn’t feel that adds any extra pressure on his shoulders heading into the 2017 staging of the oldest international competition.

“That is all in the past, I am very much in control of what happens in the future,” said the 24-year-old.

“Here is hoping that I am selected and then, after that, do my job. Everybody has a role and responsibility within the squad and I have to do mine to the best of my ability.”

Hogg admitted that it had been a pleasant journey back from Leicester on Saturday night and that, after inflicting the “doughnut” of zero scoreline on the Midlands side, the Englishmen returned the compliment in the form of sweet treats.

“Ben Youngs and Tom Croft have their own doughnut and coffee business there at Welford Road,” explained Hogg. “I saw them after the game and they asked if I wanted a few – I won’t say no to a doughnut!

“It was good to get home straight after the game. There were a couple of quiet beers and a few songs but we were just chuffed to come home with a great victory.

“In terms of Glasgow, it is very much up there [as my best rugby experience]. We believed we could go down there and win but everything seemed to fall into place nicely and we kept chipping away at the scoreboard.

“Everything seemed to work for us. You could say Leicester are going through a sticky patch with Richard Cockerill leaving but we expressed ourselves, had some fun, scored some nice tries and ultimately qualified in Europe, which is exactly what we were after.

“It is one of the first time I have been involved in a rugby game away from home where the home side has been booed off at half time.

“Credit to our boys for playing so well.”

Glasgow now have a mouth-watering quarter-final at champions Saracens to look forward to but, for now, minds are focused on Scotland and delivering a successful Six Nations.

Hogg is sitting on 48

caps but won’t look any further than Ireland – a team Scotland have lost heavily to on too many occasions of

late.

With their kicking game , they are a team that provide Hogg with counter-attacking opportunities, as evidenced by his electrifying try in Dublin last year, but three straight losses to Munster for Glasgow this season has Hogg under no illusion that it

will be a hugely testing

opener.

“Ireland do kick the ball a lot. They are very similar to Munster the other week,” said Hogg.

“We are disappointed not to have beaten Munster any time this season. It is Scotland-Ireland now and we are in control of what we do on the pitch, so here is hoping we can get the win.

“The coaches have all worked hard for ways we can get some good change out of them.

“The kick cycle for us is a massive thing, a work-on for the backs to get these high ball catches. We hope to exploit all those areas.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DUNCAN SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346857.1485203528!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346857.1485203528!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg, left, and hooker Stuart McInally during training at the Orian Centre yesterday. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg, left, and hooker Stuart McInally during training at the Orian Centre yesterday. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346857.1485203528!/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/tennis/leon-smith-i-d-love-murray-in-davis-cup-but-rest-best-now-1-4346923","id":"1.4346923","articleHeadline": "Leon Smith: I’d love Murray in Davis Cup but rest best now","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485210192000 ,"articleLead": "

Leon Smith would dearly love to have Andy Murray 
playing in his Davis Cup team in Ottawa next month – who wouldn’t? – but after the world No 1’s shock defeat to Mischa Zverev in the fourth round of the Australian Open on 
Sunday, he thinks it might be better if he didn’t.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346922.1485210132!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "World No 1 Andy Murray had to pack his bags early after his shock defeat to Mischa Zverev in the fourth round of the Australian Open."} ,"articleBody": "

Smith will name his squad today, but whether he lists Murray on the team sheet or not, it does not matter – he can always make changes 
later. What matters to Smith is that Murray recovers quickly from his loss and stays physically fit to maintain his 
position at the top of the 
rankings.

“I can name or not name him. Doesn’t matter,” Smith, the team captain said. “You can still change two out of the team up until Thursday 
morning [of the tie].

“I think the Davis Cup is a really good way of getting over those defeats: we’re all friends, it’s a really good week. But the matches are still very, very draining, though.When all’s said and done, playing best of five set tennis, it doesn’t matter who it’s against, it’s still tough, it’s still a lot of time on court in a pressure situation. He has to weigh up what’s right for him.

“To be honest, the best thing for his body is probably not to play, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong,

“I’d love him to play. But, for his own good, it’s better for him to rest up and train and get ready for this next period, because there won’t be much time the rest of the year and this might be a really good time to do it. Because once the Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami tournaments are done [in 
February and March], then you hit the clay season and the grass season, there ain’t much time. So this is probably the best time.”

Smith, pictured,has known Murraysince the Scot was a spindly lad with lots of potential and big ambitions. He knows him better than most people on the circuit. And he knows that Murray will get over 
Sunday’s defeat, even if it may take a while.

“The loss will be really tough to take,” he said. “His record in slams is unbelievable. He’s No 1 in the world, he was one of the favourites here and he’s out in the last 16 – and it’s going to hurt. But, once he gets his head around it, and once he gets enough people reminding him he’s still No1 in the world – he’s grown that gap even more this week – he can puts some distance between himself and the rest over the coming months with Indian Wells, and Miami in particular.

“He will be reminded enough times by those round him of what a run he’s on. It’s one match. It’s a sore one just now, but he’ll come back.”

As the tournament recovered from Murray’s loss, which came hard on the heels of Novak Djokovic’s departure in the second round, the general consensus of opinion was that it was not a catastrophe. Murray’s record in Melbourne is rock solid – five finals reached – even if he has never won the title. And even world No 1s are entitled to have a bad day.

Jonas Bjorkman, who was part of Murray’s coaching team in 2015, was surprised by the upset but not too concerned about the result.

“Novak and Andy have showed us so many times how good they are, so we are surprised,” he said. “Out of 100 matches, they play high quality in 99 of them and that one match out of 100 we are all surprised because they set such a high standard. That’s very impressive. That’s why we have these five guys that have been dominating the tennis for so many years now.

“Zverev had to play the best match of his life, even though Andy didn’t play his best tennis, that’s how good they are. It’s good to see they are human as well, that they can have an off-day. But everyone is surprised he didn’t hit the passing shots as clean or returning as well but they are human.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALIX RAMSAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346922.1485210132!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346922.1485210132!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "World No 1 Andy Murray had to pack his bags early after his shock defeat to Mischa Zverev in the fourth round of the Australian Open.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "World No 1 Andy Murray had to pack his bags early after his shock defeat to Mischa Zverev in the fourth round of the Australian Open.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346922.1485210132!/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/tennis/sky-s-the-limit-for-johanna-konta-says-tennis-legend-1-4346909","id":"1.4346909","articleHeadline": "Sky’s the limit for Johanna Konta says tennis legend","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485209149000 ,"articleLead": "

For a woman who could be on the verge of something special, Johanna Konta looks and sounds remarkably relaxed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346908.1485209087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Johanna Konta signs autographs for young fans after winning her fourth-round match against Ekaterina Makarova at the Australian open. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Arriving late 10 minutes for her post-match media commitments, she was hugely apologetic. She had been delayed trying to help her sister change her nephew’s nappy. The nephew, Ollie, is nine weeks old and organising his underwear arrangements sounded far more complicated than blitzing Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-4 yesterday.

Konta was controlled, aggressive and accurate, just as she has been since she arrived in Australia. She has now won 18 sets on the bounce in the land of sun and, with every set that passes, she seems to be getting better. That is fortunate as now she faces the ultimate test in her sport: she must play Serena Williams for a place in the semi-finals. When that match-up was announced after Konta’s win, the crowd oohed and aahed in anticipation.

“That is Serena’s aura, that is what Serena has earned from everything she has achieved in the sport,” Konta said. “The way people speak about her is according to her achievements in the sport. Though it was quite funny [when they reacted].

“She is the greatest player to be playing right now. So she really is someone who has pretty much done it all in our sport and very few people get to do that in whatever discipline they do. Because she has made herself such an icon I think she has that effect on people.

“I really am looking forward to playing her. I have never been on court with her, so I am looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to competing, and really going out there and trusting in my own system and trusting in the good things that I bring to the court.”

Konta grew up watching Williams. Here was a tennis idol and Konta wanted to be one of those when she grew up. She may not have achieved that goal yet, but there are many who believe that she has a real chance to beat Williams tomorrow. And, if she does, the draw will be blown wide open. Then anything is possible.

Martina Navratilova, who knows a thing or two about winning major titles, has watched with interest as Britain’s No 1 has motored up the rankings from a standing start of No 147 in June 2015 to No 9 this week.

“She just keeps improving,” Navratilova said. “You never know how much people will keep improving, but she’s 
definitely going in the right direction. Most of all, she looks the part. She looks like she belongs. She feels she belongs here. She’s not an imposter and she’s got the weapons to go with it.

“She’s improved her movement, her shot selection, cleaned up the middle- ground game. Everything has improved on her part. If she keeps that belief – you have to almost talk your way into it. She’s never beaten Serena Williams. But that full confidence can do wonders for you and she’s backed it up with tennis, so impressive.”

Konta has never played Serena, but she has played and beaten Venus Williams. The two sisters are not identical in style, but taking on the huge power game will not daunt her or take her by surprise. After all, Konta’s game is all about big hitting and aggression.

“Whoever gets on the offense first will probably win that point,” Navratilova predicted. “Just try to use controlled aggression, pick your spots and, most of all, hit with conviction. It almost doesn’t matter where you’re going to hit the shot as long as you commit to it. If you commit to it, whether it’s down the line or cross court, you’re good. If you don’t commit to it, you hit down the line or cross court, you’re going to miss and it’s not going to be hit so well, so just commit to the shot.

“She’s worked her way up and she is going to be here for a while. If she stays healthy, the sky is the limit.”

The numbers reinforce Navratilova’s belief. The statisticians have done their sums and rank the Konta and Williams joint seventh in the tournament for their shotmaking – 23 per cent of their shots have been winners. Williams has a few more forehand winners, Konta is better on the backhand. But it is in the unforced errors that Konta wins out: only 17 per cent of her shots are errors while 26 per cent of 
Williams’s attempts go awry. Konta, then, plays a cleaner game than Williams.

That might be enough to get her the win tomorrow but we will have to wait and see. But in a tournament of shock results, nothing seems impossible any more.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALIX RAMSAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346908.1485209087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346908.1485209087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Johanna Konta signs autographs for young fans after winning her fourth-round match against Ekaterina Makarova at the Australian open. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Johanna Konta signs autographs for young fans after winning her fourth-round match against Ekaterina Makarova at the Australian open. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346908.1485209087!/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/kilmarnock/kilmarnock-set-to-cash-in-on-striker-souleymane-coulibaly-1-4346742","id":"1.4346742","articleHeadline": "Kilmarnock set to cash in on striker Souleymane Coulibaly","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485197434000 ,"articleLead": "

Kilmarnock are close to landing a major windfall after frontman Souleymane Coulibaly was allowed to jet out to Egypt to seal a potential £1million switch.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346741.1485197371!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Souleymane Coulibaly has travelled to Egypt to talk with two clubs. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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The country’s two biggest sides Al Ahly and Zamalek are both fighting for the Ivorian’s signature.

Press Association Sport understands a deal worth an initial £750,000 has been agreed with representatives of both clubs - with the fee rising to near seven figures if add-on clauses are triggered.

Coulibaly will now have the final say on which club he joins.

The Rugby Park club rejected Zamalek’s £500,000 bid earlier this month but the sale would represent a remarkable piece of business for a player released by Peterborough just last summer.

He has 11 goals to his name this season, with an audacious 40-yard strike at Celtic Park and stunning over-head kick against Dundee already tipped as goal of the season contenders.

But his loss would be a major blow for Lee Clark and his team’s survival bid.

Tenth-placed Killie have scored just 16 Ladbrokes Premiership goals this term - with eight of them coming from Coulibaly.

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READ MORE - Fans react to Sir Rod Stewart’s Scottish Cup draw antics

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Craig Forbes"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346741.1485197371!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346741.1485197371!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Souleymane Coulibaly has travelled to Egypt to talk with two clubs. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Souleymane Coulibaly has travelled to Egypt to talk with two clubs. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346741.1485197371!/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/scottish-cup/why-not-consider-supporters-in-cases-of-extreme-fog-1-4346736","id":"1.4346736","articleHeadline": "Why not consider supporters in cases of extreme fog?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485197091000 ,"articleLead": "

As Ross County started the attack that would end with them going 3-1 up against Dundee United at Dingwall, there were audible boos and chants of “what a waste of money” coming from the away end.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346735.1485197031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": ""We've won a corner... I think." The scene at Dingwall prior to kick-off on Saturday. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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This was not a collective premonition experienced by those of a tangerine persuasion, foreseeing the two-goal deficit from which their team would not recover. Rather, it was several hundred frustrated spectators indignant at having been asked to pay £20 per head to see the Scottish Cup clash, only to have such a luxury taken away from them because of the weather.

Prior to kick-off, a thick fog had descended on Dingwall. After much deliberation, the officials decided to go ahead with the game. Afterwards, this was described as the right decision by Sportscene pundits. If it was undoubtedly the right decision, why were fans booing for sustained periods during the first half?

During the discussions of whether this game was to take place, were any supporters chiefs consulted on whether the fans would prefer to chance their luck and hope the fog would lift, as it began to in the second half, or return on the road down to Dundee for a rearranged fixture? I think we all know the answer.

This is not an “only in Scotland” moan. That particular gripe is heavily overused and often complete nonsense, such as in this instance. Across the world every year there are games that go ahead in fog with little regard for how the conditions affect fans.

It’s also not a criticism of referee Kevin Clancy. Under the rules of the game, if visibility was such that it allowed him to keep up with play and was able to see his assistants clearly, then he had every right to let the game go ahead.

It’s not even a dressing down of the SFA. As already stated, they’re far from the only football association to think such games are fine to kick-off, and there are other factors to take into consideration.

Instead, it’s a request that in future, referees are allowed to take into account what visibility will be like for supporters. Perhaps, as already stated, some sort of consultation with a couple of supporters’ representatives could take place. There’s every chance fans would be split on whether or not to begin the game or to postpone, but at least they could be made to feel part of the decision.

Fans of Scottish football already get a raw deal as it is. For the quality on offer, especially in comparison to some leagues on the continent, they are being asked to shell out too much. The cost was £20 for adults and £10 for concession tickets to gain access on Saturday. That’s probably a little too steep even when the whole pitch is visible.

Sure, it’s a pretty rare situation, but it will happen again. When it does, it would be great if our referees were encouraged to take supporters into consideration.

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READ MORE - Fans react to Sir Rod Stewart’s Scottish Cup draw antics

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346735.1485197031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346735.1485197031!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": ""We've won a corner... I think." The scene at Dingwall prior to kick-off on Saturday. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": ""We've won a corner... I think." The scene at Dingwall prior to kick-off on Saturday. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346735.1485197031!/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/rangers-danny-wilson-hopeful-over-latest-injury-setback-1-4346691","id":"1.4346691","articleHeadline": "Rangers’ Danny Wilson hopeful over latest injury setback","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485192247000 ,"articleLead": "

Rangers defender Danny Wilson is keeping his fingers crossed he has not suffered another bout of injury frustration.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346690.1485192186!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danny Wilson has been plagued by a calf problem. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

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The Ibrox centre-back missed almost two months of action with a torn thigh muscle earlier this term.

Now a calf complaint which has also kept him out of action during the early part of the season has resurfaced.

The 25-year-old sat out Saturday’s dramatic come-from-behind win over Motherwell at Ibrox in the William Hill Scottish Cup.

But he hopes to return in time to face the Steelmen when they go for revenge in this Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash at Fir Park.

Wilson told RangersTV: “Touch wood it’s not too bad.

“I have had a couple of problems with my calves this season which has been frustrating, and it flared up a bit in training on Thursday.

“It seems okay just now, so we will see how it is this week and hopefully be back in contention.”

Gers overcame Mark McGhee’s team at the weekend but only after Kenny Miller struck twice in the last six minutes to avert disaster.

The Light Blues’ last shot at claiming a trophy this season looked to be slipping through their fingers after Louis Moult gave Well a shock lead with quarter of an hour left.

Their late collapse left McGhee devastated but Rangers manager Mark Warburton insists his side merited their 2-1 victory.

“I saw Mark McGhee’s comments after the game but from our point of view we were more than deserved winners - there is no doubt about that,” he stressed.

“But from a Rangers’ perspective we have to be more decisive, we have to test their keeper earlier and more frequently.

“It is two late goals, you are 1-0 up with 10 minutes to go and you have to hope very much that the worst you do is hang on for a replay.

“Those two late goals obviously hurt them but we were pushing very hard and you saw even after the second goal that we could have added more. Barrie McKay was wreaking havoc down the left-hand side.

“It is an important win, a lot is made of the cup game after what happened in last year’s final but that is long gone and it is one game at a time for us now but it was a good start.”

However, the Englishman admits his team need to start punishing opponents when they boss the possession stakes.

Rangers enjoyed 63 per cent of the ball on Saturday and created 17 chances, but rarely troubled Well stopper Craig Samson before Miller eventually made the breakthrough at the death.

Warburton said: “We lacked penetration but had lots of ball possession - but we need that quality in the final third.

“For the first hour we weren’t decisive enough, we know that. We passed the ball well without really hurting them in any way and they got the goal.

“We knew they would always get a chance and it was a very good header but it kicked us into life and as they tired we worked them well.

“We passed around them and they got tired.

“Late goals aren’t a coincidence so we were bright and I am pleased with the substitutions in terms of the energy they added.

“I think we’ll face the same again this weekend, as you saw they are very solid, deep and compact. They put men behind the ball and defend the goal in a very well organised manner.”

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READ MORE - Fans react to Sir Rod Stewart’s Scottish Cup draw antics

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Andy Newport"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346690.1485192186!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346690.1485192186!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Danny Wilson has been plagued by a calf problem. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danny Wilson has been plagued by a calf problem. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346690.1485192186!/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/scottish-cup/brendan-rodgers-chuckles-at-showmanship-of-sir-rod-stewart-1-4346685","id":"1.4346685","articleHeadline": "Brendan Rodgers chuckles at showmanship of Sir Rod Stewart","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485191837000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers declared Sunday’s William Scottish Cup draw one of the best ever after Sir Rod Stewart brought some rock ‘n roll showmanship to proceedings.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346684.1485191776!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Rod Stewart (left), along with SFA President Alan McRae (centre) and Alan Stubbs during the William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round draw. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

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The 72-year-old Celtic fan, sporting a leopard-skin scarf, delivered his part in enthusiastic fashion after watching his team beat Albion Rovers 3-0 at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium.

Sir Rod showed his delight after landing a home draw for Celtic, against Inverness, as he drew the balls out alongside Scottish Football Association president Alan McRae and former Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs.

Rodgers said: “One of the best cup draws I’ve ever seen.

“He looked happy. It must have been because we won.

“I thought he was very good. He pulled us out a home draw, so obviously very happy.

“He is certainly entertaining, on stage and off stage. I think most people had a chuckle at it.”

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READ MORE - Fans react to Sir Rod Stewart’s Scottish Cup draw antics

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Gavin McCafferty"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346684.1485191776!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346684.1485191776!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sir Rod Stewart (left), along with SFA President Alan McRae (centre) and Alan Stubbs during the William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round draw. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Rod Stewart (left), along with SFA President Alan McRae (centre) and Alan Stubbs during the William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round draw. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346684.1485191776!/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-hails-remarkable-achievement-of-scott-brown-1-4346665","id":"1.4346665","articleHeadline": "Brendan Rodgers hails ‘remarkable achievement’ of Scott Brown","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485190618000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers feels Scott Brown’s professionalism will ensure he plays a lot more than 400 games for the club as the midfielder gets set for a landmark appearance.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346663.1485190559!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Brown will make his 400th appearance for Celtic if he features against St Johnstone on Wednesday. Picture: Lisa Ferguson"} ,"articleBody": "

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Brown will make it four centuries of Celtic appearances if he plays in Wednesday’s Ladbrokes Premiership encounter with St Johnstone, which could see the champions go 22 points clear at the top.

The 31-year-old is in his 10th season at Celtic Park and quickly won over Rodgers when the former Liverpool boss took charge last summer.

Rodgers said: “It’s a remarkable achievement by a top-class professional.

“I didn’t know that’s what it was but to play that number of games at a club this size, your professionalism, your enthusiasm, your energy for the game and your commitment to being a top professional has to be there.

“I’ve said it on many occasions since I walked in the door here and my general first impressions on him have been very, very positive.

“And he’s a remarkable leader. I have to say, working with him on a day to day basis, the players in the changing room take a great lead from him.

“He’s at the very front from the very first steps we make on the training field, the warm-up, right from the very, very start he sets an incredible example.

“He shows a great example to the other players and he is playing at the top of his game this season. So 400 would be great for him but I think there is quite a few more to come as well.”

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READ MORE - Fans react to Sir Rod Stewart’s Scottish Cup draw antics

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Gavin McCafferty"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346663.1485190559!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346663.1485190559!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scott Brown will make his 400th appearance for Celtic if he features against St Johnstone on Wednesday. Picture: Lisa Ferguson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Brown will make his 400th appearance for Celtic if he features against St Johnstone on Wednesday. Picture: Lisa Ferguson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346663.1485190559!/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-hopeful-of-signing-before-transfer-deadline-1-4346666","id":"1.4346666","articleHeadline": "Brendan Rodgers hopeful of signing before transfer deadline","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485190618000 ,"articleLead": "

Brendan Rodgers is hopeful he will be able to add to his Celtic squad before next week’s transfer deadline.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346664.1485190560!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers watched his side defeat Albion Rovers on Sunday. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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Celtic have been linked with 19-year-old Nigerian winger Henry Onyekuru, with reports in Africa quoting the player as declaring that the Scottish champions have made an official bid to his club, Belgian side KAS Eupen.

The Parkhead side have already recruited in the January window with Kouassie Eboue joining from Krasnodar for a free of around £3 million.

Rodgers will be patient in his recruiting, a luxury enabled by Celtic’s terrific form in domestic football this season

He said: “I didn’t want to bring in too many but we have an option that we could get over the line. We will wait and see on that one.

“It’s about slowly building the squad. The squad has been outstanding in their work over the first six months so we want to just keep adding to it to help the players that are already here.

“There will maybe be one or two that will go out on a loan basis as well, so there will probably be both ways. I suspect there will be some change in the squad before the window.”

Leigh Griffiths is back in training after missing Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup win over Albion Rovers with a tight calf, while Mikael Lustig will be monitored after going off at half-time.

“He had a stiff back and as a precaution we took him off,” Rodgers said. “Playing on the astroturf, it just provokes a wee bit more out of some players than others. So we will see how he is, he is still a bit stiff.”

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READ MORE - Fans react to Sir Rod Stewart’s Scottish Cup draw antics

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Gavin McCafferty"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346664.1485190560!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346664.1485190560!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers watched his side defeat Albion Rovers on Sunday. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers watched his side defeat Albion Rovers on Sunday. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346664.1485190560!/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/six-scots-in-frame-for-walker-cup-1-4346662","id":"1.4346662","articleHeadline": "Six Scots in frame for Walker Cup","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485190554000 ,"articleLead": "

Six Scots, including reinstated amateur Barry Hume, have been named in the Great Britain & Ireland squad for this year’s Walker Cup in Los Angeles.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346679.1485203266!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Drumoig's Connor Syme is among six Scots in the Great Britain & Ireland squad for the match in California in September"} ,"articleBody": "

Haggs Castle man Hume is joined in the 19-strong squad by Craig Ross (Kirkhill), Sandy Scott (Nairn), Craig Howie (Peebles), Connor Syme (Drumoig) and Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten).

The group, which is headed by Amateur champion Scott Gregory and also includes 2016 Links Trophy winner Conor O’Rourke, will be whittled down to 10 in August ahead of the biennial match at Los Angeles Country Club on 9-10 September.

Captaining the team for the first time in the event will be East Renfrewshire’s Craig Watson, who succeeded Nigel Edwards after the Welshman engineered a record 16.5-9.5 victory at Royal Lytham in 2015.

“We have identified a strong group of players who are all in contention for a place on the team and we will be monitoring their performance and results over the coming season,” said Watson.

“We will also pay close attention to the progress and form of players who have not been included in this current squad as they also have the opportunity to play their way into contention for the team selected to play the USA in September.”

Hume had a spell in the pro ranks between 2002 and 2010 before returning to the amateur game, where he won the Welsh Open Stroke-Play Championship last year.

Three Scots - Ewen Ferguson, Grant Forrest and Jack McDonald - were on the winning team under Edwards at Royal Lytham.

Full GB&I squad

David Boote (Walton Heath)

Paul McBride (The Island)

Daniel Brown (Masham)

Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park)

Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint)

Conor O’Rourke (Naas)

Owen Edwards (Llanwern)

Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood)

Alex Gleeson (Castle)

Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park)

Scott Gregory (Corthampton)

Craig Ross (Kirkhill)

Stuart Grehan (Tullamore)

Sandy Scott (Nairn)

Craig Howie (Peebles)

Connor Syme (Drumoig)

Barry Hume (Haggs Castle)

James Walker (Oaks)

Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten)

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346679.1485203266!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346679.1485203266!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Drumoig's Connor Syme is among six Scots in the Great Britain & Ireland squad for the match in California in September","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Drumoig's Connor Syme is among six Scots in the Great Britain & Ireland squad for the match in California in September","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346679.1485203266!/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/comment-why-we-all-need-to-share-our-passion-for-golf-1-4346645","id":"1.4346645","articleHeadline": "Comment: Why we all need to share our passion for golf","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485189599000 ,"articleLead": "

I bet there are people around the world who think us Scots drop straight from the womb on to the first tee on a golf course, such is our passion for the Royal & Ancient game. In truth, of course, that passion is mainly inherited, something I’ve been reminded about over the past week following the death of my own father, William Dempster.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346644.1485191483!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "William Dempster was a proud member of Dunbar and Eyemouth Golf Clubs and his other sporting passion was football."} ,"articleBody": "

If it hadn’t been for him and, in particular, his love of golf, I’d have missed out on so many memorable occasions, both playing the game and watching it. And, of course, I wouldn’t be in the privileged position, either, of being this great newspaper’s golf correspondent but for him introducing me to the sport.

That introduction took place at Eyemouth, his beloved hometown, and I still remember that Christmas Day when, having been bought my first set of clubs, we were out on the nine-hole course, as it was at the time, for a few holes before sitting down with the rest of the family for dinner. From that moment on, I’ve been addicted to the game, my passion for it being fuelled by so many great experiences shared with my father.

For example, I remember us going to the Jimmy Tarbuck Pro-Am at Dalmahoy in the 1970s, when the crowds used to be massive for an event that featured the likes of Tony Jacklin and Bernard Gallacher, as well, of course, as Ronnie Corbett showing off what became his trademark outsized bunnet for the first time.

Armed with an autograph book, I was like a pig in mud and often find myself recalling those times, wishing that youngsters these days would feel equally content securing a simple but cherished signature instead of giving the impression they’d rip clothing off players as they scream and shout at them coming off the 18th green.

It was around the same time that he took me to my first Open Championship, making the journey from Berwickshire through to Turnberry in 1977. Unfortunately, we were there on the first day, so missed out on witnessing that epic “Duel in the Sun” over the weekend between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus.

At the time, though, that didn’t really bother me as the main reason for being there was to get a glimpse of my own golfing hero, Ben Crenshaw, and what a thrill it was to see “Gentle Ben” in the flesh for the first time. I sincerely hope young golfers today have their own heroes because it definitely makes you have dreams of your own.

Alas, despite all the hours I spent during the summer months at Eyemouth, my own particular dream, which was to get my handicap low enough – and back then the cut-off was around three – to play in the Scottish Boys Championship at either Dunbar or North Berwick, never materialised.

I had a chance to represent Eyemouth High School in what was the Aer Lingus Scottish Schools Team Championship, and only realised how proud that would have made my father when he couldn’t hide his disappointment that I didn’t do myself justice in a play-off for the final spot due to the fact I was a bit hungover from the night before.

It didn’t really need any achievements, though, to make me cherish the Sunday mornings I spent with my father and his mates – a group made up of similarly humble and grounded individuals from Coldingham in particular but also Eyemouth and Ayton – for their weekly game at Dunbar.

It was there, after all, that I received my lessons in life skills, which really are so important yet appear to be missing at times these days. It wasn’t rocket science, by any means, but, believe me, to be a young teenager spending a few hours each week in adult company was probably the making of me.

Particularly enjoyable in those days were stagings of the “Cowjum Cup”, an annual outing that took me to courses like Ratho Park, Newbattle, Broomieknowe and West Linton for the first time, as well as to equally splendid venues such as Alnmouth, Bamburgh Castle and Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland.

It was also in that neck of the woods where I used to accompany my dad when he was involved with Eyemouth Amateurs in the local football club’s early forays, with my education in that sport continuing as he enjoyed his other sporting passion as they transferred to the Lothian Amateur League before entering the Border Amateur League as Eyemouth Legion.

Those were all great days, ones I will always cherish. It’s those golfing experiences in particular, though, that will remain special and, having been guilty myself by not encouraging my two daughters beyond a few lessons and visits to a driving range, we really should all try to ensure that family members inherit our passion for this great game.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346644.1485191483!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346644.1485191483!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "William Dempster was a proud member of Dunbar and Eyemouth Golf Clubs and his other sporting passion was football.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "William Dempster was a proud member of Dunbar and Eyemouth Golf Clubs and his other sporting passion was football.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346644.1485191483!/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/renaissance-club-to-stage-2017-scottish-senior-open-1-4346623","id":"1.4346623","articleHeadline": "Renaissance Club to stage 2017 Scottish Senior Open","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485188942000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Senior Open is heading for a new venue when it returns to East Lothian for a third year in a row this summer. After two years at Archerfield Links, the event is moving next door to The Renaissance Club for its 25th staging on 
4-6 August.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346622.1485188881!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The tenth hole at The Renaissance Club, Archerfield estate, East Lothian. Picture: Ian Rutherford"} ,"articleBody": "

It will be the biggest event to be held on the Tom Doak-designed course since it opened in 2008, eclipsing the venue having been joint-host of the stroke-play qualifying for last year’s Boys’ Amateur Championship. From next year until 2021, it will become a Final Qualifying venue for the Open Championship.

“We are honoured to have been approached by the European Senior Tour to host the Scottish Senior Open on its 25th anniversary and look forward to welcoming some of the great champions of golf,” said managing director Jerry Sarvadi. “We are confident our links will provide a formidable challenge and an enjoyable experience for all of the participants in the event.”

Paul Broadhurst used victory in the 2015 event at Archerfield Links to become a Senior Open champion at Carnoustie before he was succeeded on the Scottish Senior Open roll of honour by another Englishman, Paul Eales, last August.

“Jerry and the team at The Renaissance Club deserve an opportunity to showcase their world-class facilities,” said David MacLaren, head of the European Senior Tour. “The Renaissance club provides a magnificent golfing experience to its members and their guests, and has quickly established itself as a real gem in one of Scottish golf’s greatest heartlands.”

One downside from the event moving to the first week in August from later in the month is that it clashes directly with the Ricoch Women’s British Open when it visits Kingsbarns Links in Fife for the first time. But Paul Bush, director of events with VisitScotland, insisted: “Events like this one on Scotland’s Golf Coast will only enhance further Scotland’s reputation as the home of golf.”

Meanwhile, the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge is heading back to Macdonald Spey Valley in Aviemore for the ninth year in a row on 29 June-2 July. It is one of 26 tournaments being staged in 20 countries on the European Tour’s development circuit.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346622.1485188881!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346622.1485188881!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The tenth hole at The Renaissance Club, Archerfield estate, East Lothian. Picture: Ian Rutherford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The tenth hole at The Renaissance Club, Archerfield estate, East Lothian. Picture: Ian Rutherford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346622.1485188881!/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/scottish-cup/ian-cathro-hearts-have-no-choice-but-to-win-on-wednesday-1-4346436","id":"1.4346436","articleHeadline": "Ian Cathro: Hearts have no choice but to win on Wednesday","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485179044000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts boss Ian Cathro has told his team defeat is not an option when they take on Raith Rovers again on Wednesday night.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346435.1485178985!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro watched his side draw with Raith Rovers on Sunday afternoon. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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The Jambos face the Fifers for a second time in four days after letting victory slip through their fingers during Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round clash at Stark’s Park.

Jamie Walker fired the Gorgie men ahead but they failed to build on their advantage, allowing Declan McManus to nod home the goal which gives Rovers a second shot in the Tynecastle replay.

It was another set-back for Cathro, who has just one win from his first six games in charge.

And he gave a stark warning to his team, saying: “We don’t have a choice now. We must win on Wednesday, there’s no alternative as far as I’m concerned.”

Cathro handed debuts to new signings Aaron Hughes, Malaury Martin, Lennard Sowah and Andraz Struna.

But despite a disappointing result against the Ladbrokes Championship outfit, he was happy with what he saw.

“There were good bits down to our work,” he said. “The addition of the new players added to the side, in terms of quality, and we had to defend a lot of set pieces, but we didn’t defend all of them well enough.

“The new players will show their qualities in the next weeks and months as they get used to each other, and the way we want them to play.”

Rovers boss Gary Locke will now return to a ground where he has served as both club captain and manager.

And he hopes his side can turn the famously hostile Tynecastle atmosphere against the hosts.

“I’m well aware of how it can be there - I’ve been on the end of it a few times,” joked Locke. “It’s a great place to play when things are going for you but when things are not going for you it can be difficult.

“We’ve got to go with the same belief we had on Sunday and if we do that we’ll have a chance of winning.”

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READ MORE - Fans react to Sir Rod Stewart’s Scottish Cup draw antics

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDY NEWPORT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346435.1485178985!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346435.1485178985!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro watched his side draw with Raith Rovers on Sunday afternoon. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro watched his side draw with Raith Rovers on Sunday afternoon. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346435.1485178985!/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/us-teenager-bombarded-with-tweets-from-happy-rangers-fans-1-4346428","id":"1.4346428","articleHeadline": "US teenager bombarded with tweets from happy Rangers fans","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485178324000 ,"articleLead": "

This past weekend turned out to be a surprisingly busy one on social media for American teenager Kenny Miller after his namesake’s heroics in the Scottish Cup meant he was bombarded with tweets from delighted Rangers fans.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346426.1485178966!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kenny Miller celebrates after scoring his winning goal against Motherwell. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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The former Scottish international netted twice in the dying minutes as Rangers advanced into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup at the expense of Motherwell, who had led 1-0 at Ibrox thanks to a Louis Moult header.

After the game, supporters took to social media in search of their hero as they wished to offer thanks and lavish praise upon the 37-year-old striker.

Instead, they found 18-year-old Kenny Miller from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From his profile picture, it’s pretty easy to tell he is not the Kenny Miller, but that didn’t stop the tweets pouring in.

With his phone presuming buzzing every 30 seconds with notifications from Twitter, Miller issued a plea for fans to stop.

He tweeted: “I don’t want to sound like a d**k, but I AM NOT A SOCCER PLAYER! People keep tweeting at me telling me I had a great game. Please stop.”

It did not have the desired effect as Rangers supporters continued to thank him for his double against Motherwell.

Although, instead of getting frustrated further, tweets late on Sunday indicated the American Miller had relented and started to embrace the attention.

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READ MORE - Fans react to Sir Rod Stewart’s Scottish Cup draw antics

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID GUNN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346426.1485178966!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346426.1485178966!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kenny Miller celebrates after scoring his winning goal against Motherwell. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kenny Miller celebrates after scoring his winning goal against Motherwell. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346426.1485178966!/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/graeme-shinnie-signs-new-contract-with-aberdeen-1-4346244","id":"1.4346244","articleHeadline": "Graeme Shinnie signs new contract with Aberdeen","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1485171542000 ,"articleLead": "

Aberdeen have announced they’ve tied up Graeme Shinnine on a new contract, keeping the versatile left-back at Pittodrie until the summer of 2019.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346243.1485172863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Graeme Shinnie has signed a contract extension until 2019. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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Shinnie, 25, has been a mainstay in the starting XI since joining the club from Inverness CT on a pre-contact in 2015.

There has routinely been calls from within the Aberdeen support and the Scottish media for the left-back, who can also play in the centre of midfield, to be included in Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad.

The brother of Hibs loan player Andrew Shinnie, he spent six years in the Highland capital, where he helped ICT win their only piece of major silverware when he captained the side to Scottish Cup final glory over Falkirk.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4346243.1485172863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4346243.1485172863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Graeme Shinnie has signed a contract extension until 2019. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Graeme Shinnie has signed a contract extension until 2019. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4346243.1485172863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}