Neil Lennon admits he may quit Celtic when the time is right; Fraser Forster brushes aside World Cup fears; Gary Locke welcomes Ann Budge despite job speculation, plus the rest of today’s news and gossip
Neil Lennon uncertain over Celtic future
Neil Lennon has admitted he has given consideration to whether he has taken Celtic as far as he can.
The 42-year-old has conceded he has been required to do “a bit of soul searching” in the aftermath of last week’s Scottish Cup defeat at home to Aberdeen.
Lennon is only weeks short of his fourth anniversary in charge of Celtic and is the second longest serving manager in the Scottish game behind Forfar Athletic’s Dick Campbell.
Speaking ahead of Celtic’s home match against St Johnstone on Sunday afternoon, Lennon was asked whether it had got to the point where he asks himself “how much further can I take this team?”
His answer was revealing. “Well... yes,” he said with a pause. He later admitted that he couldn’t say if he had reached the end of his shelf life in the Celtic post. “I think you know instinctively when there is a cut-off point. Whether mine is here yet or not I do not know,” he said. (Scotsman)
Forster: Celtic stay won’t harm World Cup bid
THE daily diet of Fraser Forster chat comprises obligatory discussion of the Celtic keeper’s quest to make England’s squad for the World Cup in Brazil this summer and his clean sheet run.
Today’s home game with St Johnstone gives Forster the opportunity to equal the all-time Scottish league record of 12 games without conceding, set by Bobby Clark in 1970-71. Another talking point can be added today with the announcement of Forster as the SPFL Premiership player of the month for January.
Forster said: “I’ve obviously read Peter Shilton’s comments but I got my first England cap while playing for Celtic. I’ve had the opportunity here to play in the Champions League. Only four clubs down south get the chance to do that, so that highlights how lucky I am to be playing on that stage with Celtic.
“There’s no reason why I can’t make the World Cup with England. If you are playing as well as you can for your club then that will be watched and noted. You can only play as well as you can for Celtic.” (Scotsman)
Gary Locke dismisses Hearts job fears
Gary Locke has brushed aside claims that his job may be under threat at Hearts. With Ann Budge, the club’s prospective owner, thought to be considering regime change at the club, Locke may be living on borrowed time as manager.
Locke said: “My only concern, and it has been all season, is that the club survives. It’s great we are going to have a new owner to take the club forward.”
He added: “I met Ann Budge a while ago. She’s met quite a few members of staff. There is still a long way to go, the administrator Bryan Jackson is saying as much.
[Ann Budge taking over] is fantastic news for everybody at Tynecastle. Everything over the last few days about my own position has just been speculation. The big thing for me is this is the first bit of good news Hearts have had in a very long time.” (The Sun)
Rangers to draft new scouting blueprint for success
Rangers are to mastermind a new scouting blueprint which will reposition Rangers into being able to spot some of the best footballing talent at home and abroad.
The club has been operating without a scouting network for 10 months since the departure of Neil Murray, who left Ibrox amid claims of a scandal which were denied by the club.
Rangers’ tightened finances will see the club becoming increasingly dependent on a scouting network that will enable manager Ally McCoist to be more nimble in the transfer market.
McCoist said: “Craig and myself have put a paper in front of Graham to have a look at. It’s still at the early stages but it is a document regarding the future of the scouting.
“We are aware of how important it is to get it done as quickly as possible. It also has to be done correctly so that we’re ready to move with it in the future.” (Sunday Mail)
Kenny Dalglish: Charlie Adam still has something to offer Scotland
Kenny Dalglish has backed his former player Charlie Adam to star for Scotland under Gordon Strachan. Adam has yet to start a game for Scotland under Strachan, but the ex-Liverpool player, now playing for Stoke after a season at Anfield, can still play a vital role for the team according to Dalglish.
“When he was at Liverpool we won the Carling Cup so I wouldn’t undermine what he did there too readily. But it is good to see Charlie back playing well. It is always helpful to Gordon if the Scottish boys are playing well.
Dalglish also expressed his admiration to Adam for seeking first-team football by moving from Liverpool to Stoke after just 12 months.
“Your football career is like life in general, it is not a rehearsal for anything is it? You get once chance and if you have a decision to make, then you make the decision. The people who take the decision to try to play football, they are the admirable ones. It tells you something about the person. You know he wants to play.” (Sunday Herald)
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