Graeme Souness backs Neil Lennon to return to Celtic; Hearts unveil plans for new 7,000-seater stand and Ronny Deila welcomes the ‘circus’ of Scottish football and speculation over his job
Souness backs Lennon return
GRAEME Souness believes a return to Celtic ‘would interest’ Neil Lennon.
The former Rangers boss reckons the Northern Irishman will be ‘richer for the experience’ after a difficult spell in charge of Bolton.
Lennon took charge of the Trotters in October 2014, but out of 79 games won just 18 as Bolton struggled at the wrong end of the Championship and experienced money difficulties. (Daily Record)
Deila: Scottish football is circus
CELTIC boss Ronny Deila has urged David Moyes and other managerial contenders to continue their challenge for his job, because he loves the circus of Scottish football.
Deila remains committed to achieving the Premiership title and Scottish Cup with Celtic, and is aiming to get the club back into Europe next year.
Deila said: “There has to be a little bit of a circus. It’s okay. What can I say about others talking? That it is not an attractive job? Of course it is an attractive job. That’s fine by me.” (Various)
McInnes’ Euro achievements come second
ABERDEEN boss Derek McInnes is happy that the Dons have secured a Europa League spot for next season, but has revealed his main aim is still the Premiership title.
The Dons secured an automatic European place on Wednesday night without even kicking a ball, due to the draw between St Johnstone and Ross County.
McInnes said: “For any team to be champions it is over the full season and we have still got 24 points to play for.” (Scottish Sun)
Hearts to build 7,000-seater stand
HEARTS are to begin work on a new main stand in autumn this year and aim to have it completed in the opening stages of the 2017/18 season.
Tynecastle’s capacity will swell to over 20,000, while club owner Ann Budge has also revealed plans to develop the area behind the Wheatfield Stand and build a 3G pitch for community use.
The new stand will incorporate new hospitality suites, offices, a club shop and ticket office. (The Scotsman)
Meulensteen ‘wanted Rangers job’
FORMER Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen has admitted he would have loved to have landed the Rangers job in the summer, describing it as an ‘awfully nice challenge’.
The Dutchman, formerly a coach at Manchester United, added: “A club with a rich history. I would have been there to build something, but the club opted for Mark Warburton with club icon David Weir as an assistant. Very sorry.” (ELF Voetbal)
Maradona pal eyes St Mirren
DIEGO Maradona’s friend Gustavo Moure is at the head of an Argentinian consortium considering a takeover bid for St Mirren.
A German group is also understood to be in the running for the 52 per cent stake in Saints that was offered by chairman Stewart Gilmour in 2009.
The Argentinians were given a tour of the training ground and stadium in pre-season, and have also been examining the Championship side’s finances closely. (Scottish Sun)
Celtic striker irritated by manager rumours
HOOPS striker Leigh Griffiths is frustrated at all the talk surrounding the potential successor of manager Ronny Deila.
David Moyes and Malky Mackay have both talked to the media this week about their chances in the Parkhead hot seat, fuelling speculation that Deila could be out of a job by the end of the season.
Griffiths said: “It’s frustrating for us [Celtic players] because it’s disrespectful. The gaffer has got a job here and he is doing okay, we are still sitting top of the league.” (Evening Times)
Hartley targets fourth for Dundee
DUNDEE manager Paul Hartley has insisted his players still have what it takes to secure fourth place in the Premiership ahead of Sunday’s derby clash with rivals Dundee United.
Despite a run of three games without a win or goal, Hartley said: “We know we want to be in the top half come the split. It’s definitely game on in that battle.
“But all we have to do is make sure we rack up as many points as we can in the next four games.” (Evening Telegraph)
Stubbs wants Oxley yellow card rescinded
HIBS head coach Alan Stubbs has vowed to challenge the yellow card given to goalkeeper Mark Oxley during Wednesday night’s quarter-final replay against Inverness CT.
Oxley is banned from playing in the club’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United in April after receiving two yellows in two games.
Referee Stephen Finnie booked the keeper for time-wasting; a charge disputed by Hibs as it is claimed Oxley had lost a contact lens at the time and “couldn’t see properly out of one eye”, according to the manager. (The Scotsman)
Rangers ‘gamble’ paying off for Holt
JASON Holt believes he took a risk with his career by turning down firm contract offers elsewhere to agree instead to a trial period with Rangers last summer.
The 23-year-old is now enjoying an impressive run of form for the Championship leaders, which has seen the initial three-year contract he signed in July extended until 2020 on improved terms.
Holt addded: “I never doubted myself. You always have to have self-belief and I had that. Yes, it was a blow to be let go by Hearts, but these things happen in football.” (The Scotsman)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Aberdeen defender Shay Logan was expected to return to England to be closer to home when his contract ends at the end of this season, but manager Derek McInnes is confident that the Dons will be able to retain him for another season due to his “strong connection” to the club
• St Mirren have apologised and given a £10 discount on season tickets after fans were annoyed by the club’s decision to give over one of its stands to Rangers fans on April 30
• Ronny Deila has warned that the prestige and popularity of European football could be harmed by the potential creation of a Super League
• Motherwell manager Mark McGhee fears for his side’s chances against Aberdeen this weekend, as he revealed a flu virus has taken its toll on the Fir Park squad