Terry Butcher remains on course for his move to Hibs, Ally McCoist reveals ‘encouraging’ talks at Rangers, van Dijk celebrates Celtic goal success, Gary Locke hails Jamie Walker’s efforts at Hearts and St Johnstone’s Steven MacLean looks to be sidelined after undergoing knee surgery
Butcher’s move to Hibs on course
Terry Butcher remains on course to complete his much anticipated move from Inverness to Hibernian today.
On Saturday, the manager attended the match between the two teams as a private individual, in the clearest sign to date that he was close to parting company with Inverness.
Though Butcher’s decision not to take his place in the opposition’s dug-out has been interpreted as a positive sign for the move, Hibs goalkeeper Ben Williams admitted that his team’s players failed to impress Butcher during the match, after suffering a 2-0 defeat to the manager’s present club.
Williams said: “We are auditioning, if you like, for a new manager coming in.
“It’s about the opinions that you give him of yourself. I don’t think we did ourselves any favours whatsoever.” (Scotsman)
‘Encouraging’ talks at Rangers
Ally McCoist has revealed that he has held ‘encouraging’ discussions with David Somers, the newly-appointed acting chairman for Rangers. The manager confirmed tentative discussions with Somers in the lead-up to Rangers’ clash against Airdrieonians on Saturday.
McCoist’s optimism bodes well for the Ibrox club, as it looks to end a period of boardroom upheaval.
He said: “We spoke on Friday night and arranged to have a brief meeting before the game.
“It was very encouraging for the 10-15 minutes. I asked him a few questions about what his hopes and plans would be, and he was obviously asking the same of myself. I would say it was a very pleasant meeting and I’d be very, very hopeful of having a successful working relationship.
“He knows the current problems within the club, in effect of having two directors and not a chief executive. Obviously for corporate governance and running the football club, that’s far from ideal. He appreciates that more than me – that’s the job he’s in. As I say, he’s aware of what the club needs and how he sees that moving forward.” (Scotsman)
Goal success for van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk’s impressive form in recent weeks was further enhanced on Saturday, as he contributed his first goals for Celtic. Though the central defender put in an impressive performance for the Parkhead club, it comes at the end of a week not without its frustrations, after his hopes of a call up for the Dutch national squad were unfulfilled.
Van Dijk said: “No-one from the Dutch FA spoke to me after the game in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
“I know I was being watched but I’m not in the squad. Of course I want to be in the Dutch squad, but it’s not possible just now so I keep focused on Celtic.
“I will now go on vacation during the international break. Rest is the best, so they say, so I think I’ll do that.” (Scotsman)
Walker impresses at Hearts
Jamie Walker impressed Hearts boss Gary Locke over the weekend, after the midfielder played a starring role in his side’s win over Aberdeen.
Walker latching onto a deep free-kick signalled a turnaround for the Jambos, as the move rounded Jamie Langfield to level the scores before turning provider for Calum Paterson to put Hearts in front. Ryan Stevenson sealed the win with a goal on the counter in injury time. The Hearts boss hailed 20-year-old Walker for his contribution.
Locke said: “I thought Jamie was fantastic in the second half.
“He’s got that in his locker as he showed earlier in the season.
“Like any young player, he’ll take a dip in form but he’s responded and I singled him out in the dressing room because I thought he was fantastic.
Surgery for St Johnston’s Maclean
It has been reported that St Johnstone striker Steven MacLean will be sidelined for three months after undergoing surgery on his knee. Manager Tommy Wright has said that repairs have been done to the cartilage, and that the striker is not allowed to put any weight on it for six weeks. After that ‘they’ll see how he’s getting along’.
Wright said: “Losing him for three months is obvously a blow, but when you consider we thought his season was over when he went off against St Mirren, you’ve got to be happy”. (The Scottish Sun)