Kris Commons wants to face Rangers in Scottish Cup; Neil Lennon savours Celtic win against Hearts; Gordon Strachan admits being on defensive as a young manager, plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Kris Commons: Bring on Rangers
Kris Commons has said Celtic would relish the opportunity of an Old Firm derby in the Scottish Cup following their 7-0 win over Hearts in the competition.
Commons, who scored a hat-trick, said: “I would fancy playing Rangers at any time. They’re fantastic games, awesome, not just for fans and players but the media as well. It’s a great game.
“In an ideal world it would be nice if we got to the final, but any game you would take.” (Daily Record)
‘Rangers not good enough to win Scottish Cup’
Rangers are short on quality and will not win the Scottish Cup - that’s the view of Conor McGrandles, whose Falkirk side was beaten by two late goals by the Ibrox side over the weekend.
The midfielder was left unimpressed by Rangers’ display despite overcoming the Bairns 2-0: “Rangers didn’t impress me the way Aberdeen did,” McGrandles said.
He added: “I can’t see Rangers winning the cu[ because there are better teams than them in the competition but then we reached the semi-final last year so anything is possible.” (Daily Record)
Lennon hails Celtic performance
Neil Lennon has described Celtic’s 7-0 victory over Hearts in the Scottish Cup as “Utopia”. The Celtic manager, who took charge of his 200th game over the weekend, also paid tribute to the victims of the Clutha helicopter crash.
“If you’re looking for Utopia, that first half was probably it,” Lennon said. “All five goals were breathtaking. And the performance itself was the best I’ve seen, certainly in my time as a manager.
“And that’s what we’ve been looking for for a few months now, and off the back of what was a disappointing exit in the Champions League. The players have shown what a good team we are, which we never wavered from.” (Scotsman)
Gordon Strachan: I’ve calmed down
Gordon Strachan’s famously prickly exchanges with reporters was a result of defensiveness, the Scotland manager has admitted. Strachan, who once replied to a journalist’s request for a “quick word” with “velocity”, also said he had developed a bunker mentality.
“As a young manager I used to think the whole world was against me - we all do. When you do interviews after the game you set your standards for the next game.”
Strachan added: “Sometimes you can go over the top but you have to make a statement and can’t be bullied.” (The Sun)
Jim Jefferies: Blame Romanov regime for Hearts mauling
Former Hearts manager Jim Jefferies has pinned the blame on Hearts’ 7-0 defeat against Celtic with Vladimir Romanov.
In the wake of the defeat, Jefferies said the club’s 15-point deduction has hit the club hard, and lamented the lack of punishment meted out to those who he says put the Edinburgh side in financial peril.
“Celtic were just too strong for Hearts. The young boys were just not up to it. But that’s not their fault and it’s not Gary Locke’s fault either. The people responsible for the state Hearts are in are no longer at the club.” (The Sun)
“Tannadice is currently a magnet to English Premier League scouts, drawn by the increasingly irresistible form of the teenage terrors in a United side emerging as one of the most entertaining and watchable in Scottish football for several years.
“Weekend reports that Manchester United are hardening their interest in United’s headline act, the exceptionally gifted attacking midfielder Ryan Gauld, will have increased anxiety among those of a tangerine persuasion that their first-hand enjoyment of his talent may be all too short-lived.
“But there is hope for the United support that Gauld, who will celebrate his 18th birthday in a fortnight, may remain at Tannadice until the end of the season at least.” READ MORE >>
• Owen Coyle has been sacked as manager of Wigan after just six months in charge. The former Bolton and Burnley manager’s last game in charge was a 3-1 defeat at home to Derby yesterday.