Rumour Mill: Hearts slammed over postponement | Deila uses punching ball | Warburton fumes at wasteful Rangers

Water collecting on the pitch at Tynecastle prior to the game's postponement. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
Water collecting on the pitch at Tynecastle prior to the game's postponement. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
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Hearts come under criticism for Twitter gaffe prior to Partick Thistle postponement, Ronny Deila likes to punch out his frustrations as Celtic boss, and Mark Warburton is left fuming after Rangers fail to take their chances for second successive week.

Hearts criticised for match postponement

FANS of Hearts and Partick Thistle expressed their disappointment with the Tynecastle club after the postponement of yesterday’s match with Partick Thistle.

While great efforts were made by Hearts staff to make the pitch playable, it was a tweet sent out by the official Hearts account, just two hours before the announcement that the game was off, that really irked fans.

It read: “Folks, there’s no pitch inspection planned this afternoon - very much game on here at Tynecastle!”

There wasn’t another update until the match was called off, which angered those who’d already started travelling to Tynecastle, while others questioned the misplaced confidence in the original statement. (Sunday Express)

Ronny Deila uses punch ball to relieve stress

RONNY Deila revealed he uses a punch bag and makeshift gym in his home to relieve the stress caused by being manager of Celtic.

The Norwegian has come under increasing criticism over the course of this season as certain fans and pundits believe he should be sacked.

To get away from it all, Deila likes to try and keep fit, though he admitted running has been hard since it’s rained in Scotland for the past three months. (Sunday Post)

Days of cup replays could be numbered

TONY Higgins believes Scotland will be forced to fall into line with the rest of Europe by finally scrapping cup replays next season.

The European vice-president of international players’ union FIFPRO feels Tuesday’s matches at Easter Road and Rugby Park – and the Dundee-Dumbarton game a week later – may be the last replays to be scheduled.

Higgins said: “When I’m travelling abroad and speak to football people they are a bit confused by the fact that we still have cup replays. (Various)

Mark Warburton fumes at missed opportunity

RANGERS manager Mark Warburton expressed his frustration after his side failed to take all three points from their trip to Alloa.

The visitors created several chances but found themselves trailing 1-0 going into the last 10 minutes after Jason Marr headed Alloa in front.

Michael O’Halloran equalised, but Rangers missed out on extending the lead at the top after Hibernian drew with Livingston later that evening. (The Scotsman)

Ronny Deila hits out at Champions League format

CELTIC manager Ronny Deila last night added his voice to the growing disquiet over plans to squeeze smaller nations out of the Champions League.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster this week deemed proposals to favour teams from the big five nations of Spain, Germany, England, Italy and France as “sinister”.

And the Norwegian said any such moves would strip the competition of its identity, saying: “If you are going to call it the Champions League we have to have the champions in there or it’s not the Champions League any more. (The Scotsman)

Hearts learned from Hibs comeback - Neil Alexander

HEARTS know that they let an opportunity slip through their fingers when they allowed Hibernian a route back into last weekend’s Scottish Cup tie.

With 10 minutes to go and with a two-goal advantage goalkeeper Neil Alexander had been looking at adding to his run of clean sheets. But with late interventions from Jason Cummings and Paul Hanlon, the Gorgie side were reminded that they should take nothing for granted as Hibs secured a replay.

“We stopped doing what we did in the first half, which was our fault. We knew whoever got that third goal was going to be massive – and it proved to be costly for us. (The Scotsman)

Stubbs: Hibs won’t change regardless of opponent

ALAN Stubbs insists that regardless of Hibs’ opposition, they stick with their own gameplan.

Having bettered three top-flight teams already this term and battled back from 2-0 down against Hearts in last weekend’s Scottish Cup tie, there is evidence to suggest it has been a successful stance. Stubbs says that sticking to his guns shows that he has faith in his men to deliver.

“I think with my team, because of the way we are just now, we obviously give the opposition the utmost respect but we don’t change for anybody. There may be situations in a game where we slightly tinker with things but to actually change things completely, no, that would be wrong to the group of players I have got,” says Stubbs. (The Scotsman)

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