Rumour Mill: Betfred Cup is Celts ‘most important’ trophy says Rodgers | Hibs fail to shift ticket allocation | Defeat for Gers ‘not an option’

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Brendan Rodgers has stated that the Betfred Cup will be the Parkhead side’s ‘most important’, Hampden is set to be 10,000 short of a full house as Hibs fail to shift their allocation and Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha has insisted defeat to Motherwell is not an option.

Betfred Cup ‘most important’ trophy for Brendan

Brendan Rodgers inists the Betfred Cup is the 'most important' trophy. Picture: TSPL

Brendan Rodgers inists the Betfred Cup is the 'most important' trophy. Picture: TSPL

Brendan Rodgers insists the Betfred Cup is the most important trophy of Celtic’s season and that it shouldn’t be taken lightly. The Bhoys boss said: “This is always the most important. I think it is a great trophy to win.

“It was a very important one for us last year, something tangible to show for our growth and work.

“It’s great for the clubs to have a trophy so early in the season. When it is there, you obviously want to grab it.” (The Scottish Sun)

Hibs fail to shift Betfred allocation

Celtic bosses are allegedly fuming after it was revealed that Hibs had only managed to sell half of their ticket allocation for today’s Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden.

The Edinburgh club had demanded an even split for the clash, with each side allocated 20,000 tickets. However, it looks as if Hibs will be 10,000 short, despite the club insisting their fans would snap them up. Boasting 53,000 season ticket holders, Celtic are unhappy that their fans were not given the chance to fill the empty seats. A club spokesman said: “Celtic Football Club is extremely disappointed to learn that so many tickets will be unsold.

“We will be writing to the SPFL on a matter which needs to be addressed.” (Daily Record)

Hibs goalie battle as Laidlaw retains gloves for semi

Ofir Marciano has been warned he’ll have to fight to reclaim the gloves at Easter Road after boss Neil Lennon confirmed Ross Laidlaw will be goalkeeper for today’s Betfred Cup semi-final against Celtic. (Evening News)

Celtic eye up centre-half

Brendan Rodgers has insisted the club will need to look at signing a centre-half in the January transfer window. A succession of injuries to defenders Erik Sviatchenko, Dedryck Boyata and most recently Jozo Simunovic has left the Hoops manager short of options at the back. Rodgers said: “It’s definitely an area I need to look at now, centre-half is a position where you need stability.

“We’ll see what January brings.” (Various)

Caixinha: Rangers must win

Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha has told his players that defeat is not an option in tomorrow’s Betfred Cup clash with Motherwell. The Portuguese’s first Hampden outing ended in bitter disappointment as his side went down 2-0 to arch rivals Celtic back in March. Caixinha is determined that his players won’t let him down this time round. He said: “We only have two options - it’s win or win.” (Various)

St Johnstone target Irish ace McMillan

St Johnstone are said to be keeping tabs on Dundalk forward David McMillan. The 28-year-old striker has so far managed 50 goals for the Irish side - including 5 in last season’s Champions League qualifiers. McMillan is soon out of contract and Saints boss Tommy Wright is keeping a close watch. (Daily Record)

Smith tips Jambos for top three finish

Hearts’ Michael Smith believes his club are equipped to soar into the Ladbrokes Premiership’s top three after coming through the most challenging start to a season he’s ever encountered in relatively good shape. He said: “People forget we’ve not played a home game yet - Murrayfield is not our home.

“We are looking forward to getting back to Tynecastle. We will be a real force then.” (Evening News)