TWO Celtic players face uncertain futures after being branded “disappointing” by manager Neil Lennon; Blackpool hit out at Dundee United after making their Jackie McNamara bid public; avoiding relegation will be nothing to celebrate, says Hibernian captain Liam Craig, plus all the rest of today’s football news and gossip
‘Disappointing’ duo must improve, Lennon says
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has warned Derk Boerrigter and Amido Balde that their futures may be in doubt if they fail to “improve dramatically”. The duo were signed last summer from Ajax and Vitoria Guimares, respectively, but have been widely judged as underwhelming signings. Though Lennon said Finnish striker Teemu Pukki had improved, and was also prepared to admit that some players need more than a single season to demonstrate their full potential, he said: “The other two need to improve dramatically if they’re going to make any sort of headway in the first team for next season.” (The Herald)
Blackpool hit out at Dundee United over McNamara bid
Karl Oyston, the Blackpool chairman, has criticised Dundee United for publicising their bid to sign Tannadice manager Jackie McNamara. Former Rangers and Scotland captain Barry Ferguson, who was acting as caretaker manager after Paul Ince’s departure, has now left the club. Dundee United announced they had rejected Blackpool’s approach for the former Celtic and Scotland defender on Thursday, which has angered Oyston. Writing on the club’s website, he said: “I like to do things properly and sometimes you think that doing things properly is the single worst thing you can do in football. Because this is what happens. The only way you can know if the manager of another club might be interested in joining you is by having a conversation with his club.” (Daily Mail)
Boyd believes Hibs fans may turn against team
Kris Boyd believes the Hibernian supporters could handicap their team’s bid to avoid finishing in the Premiership relegation play-off place this afternoon. The Kilmarnock striker has turned up the heat ahead of the lunchtime showdown at Easter Road by claiming the home fans will get on the backs of Terry Butcher’s team if they fail to make an early breakthrough.
He said: “We know the Hibs fans will come out in force – there will be around 18,000 of them – and I have been in stadiums where they turn up and expect their team to win. If it doesn’t go to plan in the first 20 minutes, they’re not long in turning on you.” (Scotsman)
Staying up will not be cause for celebration - Craig
Hibernian captain Liam Craig has insisted a win over Kilmarnock, which would see them avoid the Premiership relegation play-off place, would not be something to celebrate. Although manager Terry Butcher has said he will afford himself a celebration - and has even visualised it - Craig took the opposite view yesterday. “It’s not going to be a celebration,” he said, “it’s not something to celebrate, finishing ninth, tenth in the league. I think there will be a lot of relief but it’s definitely not a case for celebrating.” (Scotsman)
Hearts complete sale and purchase agreement
Ann Budge will formally take control of Hearts on Monday after her £2.5 million deal for almost 80 per cent of the club’s shares was finally completed yesterday. Confirmation of the sale and purchase agreement to the Edinburgh businesswoman came after no objections to her takeover were raised by creditors of UBIG, the Lithuanian banking group, during a 20-day cooling off period. She said: “The next few months – even years – won’t be easy as we work hard to rebuild our club. However, let’s not think about that today…let’s just enjoy! I have absolutely no doubt that together we will succeed.” (Scotsman)
BT Sport Q&A: Rangers tickets/bonus | Hearts/Hibs
THIS week’s question and answer session includes Chris Sutton, Peter Grant, Owen Coyle and Stephen Craigan on the panel.
Topics up for discussion include the plan by Rangers fans to withold season ticket money, Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace’s bonus with the fate of Hibs boss Terry Butcher and his Hearts counterpart Gary Locke also up for discussion.
for the BT Sport panel to answer. The next show will be recorded on May 11 after Aberdeen v Motherwell with the video available on The Scotsman website the following day. You can also tweet your questions to @TheScotsman
A line-up of experts will handle your questions after each BT Sport game. Most match days, the team includes Darrell Currie, Derek Rae and Gary McAllister.
• T&Cs: We cannot guarantee which presenters will answer your questions. Questions are vetted and no correspondence will be entered into.