MIKAEL Lustig rages at Celtic’s defending against Milan, the Rangers chairman tells shareholders to back the board, and Gary Locke wants another cup shock from Hearts, plus the rest of today’s football news in Wednesday’s Rumour Mill
Celtic v Milan: de Jong surprised, Lustig angry; Tom English analysis
• MILAN enforcer Nigel de Jong admitted that he “expected more” from Celtic following the Italians’ 3-0 victory over the Scottish champions last night.
de Jong said: “I was expecting a little bit more from Celtic, but we put them under pressure and took the chances when they came along.
“We were lucky at the start of the second half with the chance [Virgil] Van Dijk had, but after that we picked up the pieces and were comfortable.” (UEFA.com)
• MIKAEL Lustig blasted his teammates for allowing two set-piece goals in the defeat, telling a live TV audience that the display was “not good enough”.
Lustig said: “I don’t think we’ve let one goal in from set-pieces this season and now we do it in the most important game of the season. It’s not good enough.
“The first goal was a free header from about two or three yards out.” (Record/Sky)
• CELTIC tried manfully against Milan but mistakes and errors caught up with them in the end, according to Tom English.
He writes: “Celtic have been guilty of so many self-inflicted wounds in this competition this season that they only have themselves to blame for their exit.”
Read his analysis of last night in full here.
Reject the rebels, says Rangers chairman
DAVID Somers has called on Rangers’ shareholders to back the current board at the club’s forthcoming annual general meeting.
Somers issued a statement to the Stock Exchange insisting that the proposed new board floated by Jim McColl and Paul Murray may not pass regulatory approval.
Somers said: “There can be no guarantee that each of these individuals will be found to be suitable to act as a director of the company or that the board would be able to function properly.” (Express)
Locke: “Hearts can shock Celtic”
GARY Locke believes his young Hearts side can stun the league leaders in their Scottish Cup tie this weekend.
Hearts host Celtic at Tynecastle aiming for a second cup run of the year, having already reached the semi-finals of the League Cup at the expense of Hibs.
Locke said: “There’s nobody kidding themselves on, we know it will be a big ask. But if we do our jobs, are all switched on and play to our capabilities we can cause Celtic a few problems.” (Record)
Butcher wants Collins to take Hibs chance
HIBERNIAN manager Terry Butcher wants striker James Collins to make himself the club’s top striker, after an injury to Paul Heffernan opened the door for the ex-Swindon Town man.
Butcher said: “Sometimes a door closes and another one opens and we were very pleased with James.
“He is in the team now and the way we are looking to play will suit him.” (Herald)
Celtic trialist Dike wants World Cup spot
NIGERIAN striker Bright Dike is keen to use a trial spell at Celtic to propel himself into his country’s World Cup plans.
Dike, who plays for Toronto FC in the MLS, faces stiff competition from the likes of Shola Ameobi for a place.
Dike said: “I’ll keep working hard because there’s big competition for places in the squad.” (Sun)
Killie let Cup heroes leave too early - Hay
GARRY Hay believes that the Kilmarnock side that won the League Cup in 2012 was broken up far too soon - and that his former team are paying the price now.
Not one of the squad or management team who were involved in the Hampden final are currently with the club, and Hay believes that the changes have undermined the team.
Hay said: “There’s no doubt in my mind the team was broken up too soon… with the benefit of hindsight, more could have been done to keep that unit together.” (Record)
IN OTHER NEWS
• STUART McCall has backed James McFadden to return to form - the Motherwell striker was hooked at half-time as the Steelmen beat Kilmarnock 2-0 on Saturday. (Express)
• HEARTS’ Jason Holt has undergone surgery on his broken foot - the Scotland under-21 midfielder could be out for as long as ten weeks. (Mail)
• TONY Watt’s recent trouble on loan at Lierse is down to a virus, according to the Celtic striker. The 19-year-old also added that he “needs time to adapt” to Belgium. (Sun)