Martyn Waghorn out for up to two months; Mo Bangura seals big-money move to China and Hearts welcome back Ozturk and Buaben for Dundee United clash
Waghorn faces two months on sidelines
RANGERS have been dealt a blow with the news that Martyn Waghorn faces up to two months out after injuring his knee against Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup replay.
The former Wigan striker scored an early penalty in the Gers’ 2-1 win but was subbed off shortly after. (Various)
Kilmarnock insist pitch did not injure Waghorn
KILMARNOCK have insisted that their “unforgiving” pitch surface wasn’t the cause of Martyn Waghorn’s knee injury.
Company secretary Michael Johnston said: “Rangers’ comment was ill-advised and uninformed. Our pitch is probably the most forgiving in Scottish football.
“It is Fifa 2 Star compliant and also IRB standard for rugby union, which requires additional shock absorbency and impact protection beyond the requirements for football.
“Whatever injury the player sustained, it wasn’t due to what was described by Rangers as an unforgiving surface.” (The Scottish Sun)
Bangura seals money-spinning move to China
FORMER Celtic striker Mo Bangura has sealed a £800,000 move to the Chinese second tier with Dalian Yifang.
The Sierra Leonean forward, who had a less-than-great period at the Hoops, is now reportedly Sierra Leone’s highest paid footballer in the world. (Daily Record)
Ozturk and Buaben set for Hearts return
HEARTS are set to welcome the pair back ahead of tomorrow’s Premiership clash against Dundee United. Skipper Ozturk was suspended from the Edinburgh derby showdown.
Buaben, meanwhile, was absent due to a hamstring injury.
Head coach Robbie Neilson insists that both men will be in contention. (The Scotsman)
Rooney does not blame ref Collum
ADAM ROONEY has refused to blame Willie Collum for the Dons’ 3-1 defeat at Inverness on Monday, as he admits he scored a goal against Partick Thistle that should have been disallowed earlier this season.
Ref Collum was criticised by Derek McInnes for denying Aberdeen two penalties and awarding Inverness Caledonian Thistle a spot-kick for Ross Draper’s tumble. (Daily Record)
Collins insists Celtic ‘are not dirty’
CELTIC are still awaiting the result of their UEFA hearing following a flare being set off against Turkish side Fenerbahce in December. The club was also charged with “improper conduct” as five players were booked in the game.
Hoops assistant boss John Collins said: “I don’t think we’re a dirty team at all. Anyone who watches us week in, week out, that’s not something you could label at us. We’re not an overly-aggressive team.” (Evening Times)
Dundee United boss claims “war is not over”
MIXU Paatelainen is adamant that Dundee United can escape the relegation zone, despite United being 13 points behind 11th-placed side Kilmarnock. He said: “We need to just concentrate on playing and getting ready for the next game on Saturday. That’s all we can do.
“The players know themselves that the performance against Motherwell was just not good enough. They are upset, as we all are.” (Evening Telegraph)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Paul McGinn could be on his way out of Dundee with the right back yet to be offered a new deal at Dens Park. He is believed to be attracting interest from a handful of Scottish clubs
• Patrick Roberts could make his Celtic debut in the next week or so, with John Collins revealing the on-loan Manchester City forward is nearing first-team action
• Hearts defender Jordan McGhee has admitted the players are to blame for the cup exit to Hibs, not Robbie Neilson