CELTIC defender Efe Ambrose reveals desire to play in England, Adam Matthews on Joe Ledley’s departure, Lennon demands more from team and Butcher vows to drop cup flops.
Ambrose: I’d jump at EPL chance
CELTIC stopper Efe Ambrose has revealed his desire to play for an English Premier League team in the future.
The Nigerian defender has been linked with a move to England’s top flight in the past, with both West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace reportedly keeping tabs on the centre-back and Fulham circling during last month’s transfer window.
And while Ambrose has insisted he is happy at Celtic - ‘one of the best clubs in the world’ - he admitted that the EPL is ‘a well-celebrated and followed league’ in Africa, adding: “I wouldn’t mind playing there at some point.” (Daily Record)
Matthews: Why Ledley had to leave Celtic
ADAM Matthews was sorry to see Joe Ledley leave Celtic in a £450,000 move to Crystal Palace but has admitted his countryman was left with no choice.
Ledley, who failed to agree a new contract at Parkhead, joined the Eagles on deadline day, but Matthews believes the Welsh midfielder wanted to stay in Glasgow.
“It’s personal preference really”, said Matthews. “[Joe] wanted to play in the Premiership and he got the chance.
“I think he would like to have stayed but circumstances made him have to leave.
“Celtic have made a bit of money. It’s sad to see him go but I think it was best for Celtic and Joe.” (Daily Record)
Lennon: No excuses over cup loss
NEIL Lennon has told his Celtic team to sharpen up after their cup exit at the hands of Aberdeen.
The Celtic boss saw his side crash out of their second domestic competition before the quarter-final stages at Parkhead yesterday - for the first time in 32 years.
And Lennon said his team had played ‘like strangers’, revealing he had sat the squad down to show them footage of last season’s Scottish Cup triumph and how much it meant to everyone at the club, adding: “For experienced players at this level, it’s disappointing.
“We were desperate to defend the trophy, we worked very hard this week and for it to be as poor as that? It happens in football but I want more from my players.
“I should demand more and I should get more.”
Lennon added that the nature of the goals Celtic lost were of particular concern, singling out the defence and midfield as ‘second best’, adding that the majority of the team were ‘very flat.’ (Various)
Butcher vows ‘I’ll axe cup flops’
RAGING Hibernian manager Terry Butcher blasted his team after Raith Rovers dumped them out of the Scottish Cup, threatening to wield the axe on his cup flops.
An apoplectic Butcher rubbished his side, adding: “What team I will put out next week is anyone’s guess because every position is up for grabs.
“We have been taking little steps forward but we took a lot of steps back out there.”
And the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle boss singled out new boy Duncan Watmore and Sam Stanton as the only two to get pass marks.
Butcher added that he was expecting the team to perform as well as they did against Celtic two weeks ago where - despite a 4-0 defeat - they played some good football.
The Hibs boss added: “Fair play to Raith Rovers. They rubbished us at the back and stopped us from gaining any momentum.
“I can’t believe we have turned in a performance like that when we’ve worked so hard during the week to win the game. It’s unbelievable.” (Various)
Motherwell legend Paton dies aged 91
MOTHERWELL were last night mourning the passing of the club’s greatest icon, Andy Paton, who has died aged 91.
Paton, who was part of the only Motherwell team to have lifted the League Cup, also helped the Steelmen to their first Scottish Cup win in 1952.
Awarded the Supporters’ Association Player of the Year prize in 1956, he was then named ‘Greatest Motherwell Player’ in 2007.
Paton played from the war years until 1958 at the heart of the Motherwell defence, and although visits to Fir Park became less frequent in his later years, he was regularly visited by representatives of the Fife and Tayside Motherwell supporters’ club. (Motherwell FC)
Football news in brief
• MARK Reynolds believes the 2-1 win over Celtic proves the Dons have shed their big-game bottlers tag
• ON-LOAN Celtic striker Tony Watt bagged a brace last night as Lierse crushed Mons 5-1 away in the Jupiler Pro League, taking his tally to seven goals in five