A FORMER international manager says Scotland should keep it simple, Rangers’ signing plans could fall foul of SFL rules, and Hibs boss Pat Fenlon says the international break shouldn’t hurt his side’s top six hopes. All this and more in Thursday’s Rumour Mill.
Scotland-Serbia fallout: Sanchez says ‘keep it simple’
Lawrie Sanchez has called on the national side to go back to basics. The former Northern Ireland boss, who lifted the side 97 places in the FIFA rankings, said that trying to match Europe’s elite for skill was a hopeless task.
He said: “You have players who come on international duty and all of a sudden want to knock the ball about and believe they’re better than they are - until they are outpassed by other teams.
“Scotland will find (that). You need to say: ‘Forget that’, and look at the strengths of your game. (Mail)
It’s been confirmed that Scotland striker Steven Fletcher is out for the rest of the season. The Sunderland man damaged ankle ligaments inside two minutes of Scotland’s game with Wales on Friday. (Various)
Scotland are already looking like outside bets to qualify for Euro 2016 - McBookie make them a 5/1 shot. (Record)
Finally, some good news for the national team - their next opponents Croatia will be without three of their top players when the sides square off.
Luka Modric, Vedran Corluka and Dejan Loveren will all miss Scotland’s visit to Zagreb in June.
Croatia boss Igor Stimac says that the loss of the key men “is not the end of the world”, and captain Dario Srna believes that the Croatians should still win the game. (Express)
Axe set to fall at Dunfermline
After being placed in administration yesterday, Dunfermline Athletic are this morning bracing for the impact of the cuts imposed by administrator Bryan Jackson. A large number of the club’s playing staff are expected to be shown the door as Jackson looks to save the club. Gavin Masterton, chief Pars shareholder, has apologised for his part in the saga. (Various)
Rangers signing plans could fall foul of rules
Rangers’ moves for two new signings could be scuppered by SFL rules - and their own players.
Ally McCoist is reportedly keen on Honduran midfielder Arnold Peralta and Mexican striker Alan Pulido. Both are available on free transfers at the end of the season, but as the duo are non-EU nationals they will need work permits.
The SFL only have 20 spots for non-EU players across the leagues, and limit these to three per club. If Rangers bring back American Carlos Bocanegra and Romanian Doran Goian from their loans it will put the Gers over their quota, and McCoist will have to give up the chase of one of his targets. (Express)
Butcher against 12-12-18, but admits he could benefit
Terry Butcher remains against the proposed changes to the structure of Scottish football - but admits they might keep him from having to make cuts at Inverness.
Inverness Caley are third in the SPL, and would lose £60,000 under the proposed changes. However, Butcher has said that there could be more cash available under a 12-12-18 setup than in the present structure.
Butcher said: “Our budget for next season all depends on league reconstruction.
“I am not a lover of reconstruction at all, but, financially, it might mean we do not have to cut our budget. That could be the only saving grace.” (Press and Journal)
Top six or bust for United, says Willo Flood
Dundee United will have failed this season if they fail to make the top six split, according to midfielder Willo Flood.
Flood said that even if United win the Scottish Cup, missing the SPL split would turn the season into a failure.
Flood said: “If we don’t make the top six it will be failure - simple as that.
“I know we can still win the Cup, but to do that and be in the top six would be failure to me.” (The Sun)
Fenlon: ‘Travel won’t hurt top six ambitions’
Pat Fenlon says his side’s international travels will not hurt Hibs’ chances of making the top six.
Honduran Jorge Claros took a 10,000 mile round-trip to Honduras and Panama only to sit on the bench in his side’s two World Cup qualifiers, and Ryan McGivern has just returned from a return trip to Israel. But Fenlon says the side will cope, even if the players need additional rest.
He said: “That’s the way it is and we’ll deal with it. We’ll get them back in and we’ll prepare for Inverness.” (Record)
IN OTHER NEWS
• Aberdeen assistant manager Archie Knox will not quit football at the end of the season along with Craig Brown, as previously thought. (The Sun)
• Inverness midfielder Owain Tudur Jones has revealed that he was such a late call-up to the Wales side that had to borrow boots from a member of the kit team. (Record)
• Dundee United could tie up Partick Thistle captain Paul Paton to a pre-contract in the next 24 hours. (Express)
• Livingston fear their ‘football for a fiver’ offer is cursed, after their game with Hamilton was called off for a third time. The game has been snowed off twice, and delayed by a waterlogged pitch. (Express)