Rumour Mill: Houston rage at Rangers foul | Efe Ambrose hits at critics

Rangers manager Mark Warburton (left) and Falkirk manager Peter Houston shakes hand at full-time. Picture: SNS
Rangers manager Mark Warburton (left) and Falkirk manager Peter Houston shakes hand at full-time. Picture: SNS
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PETER Houston is in trouble with the SFA after blaming referee John McKendrick for Falkirk’s 3-1 defeat at Ibrox, Celtic defender Efe Ambrose insists criticism only makes him stronger, and Dundee United want Tommy Wright to be their new manager.

Houston in hot water for claiming ref cost Falkirk

FALKIRK manager Peter Houston will be reported to the Scottish FA for using foul language towards referee John McKendrick following the 3-1 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox.

Houston was furious with the official for awarding a foul outside the box against Tom Taiwo with ten minutes remaining, which allowed right-back James Tavernier to give Rangers a 2-1 lead from the free-kick.

“He is reporting me to the association for foul language,” said the Falkirk manager. Asked if he would be also be reported for allegedly making a gesture at the end, he said: “He never said that, but we’ll see when the report comes in. I am totally aggrieved with the fact that he gave a foul against us when Tom Taiwo clearly won the ball and the man [Nicky Law] fell into him and went down. It was never a free-kick in a month of Sundays. (Scotland on Sunday)

Dundee United want Tommy Wright as manager

DUNDEE United will approach St Johnstone for permission to speak to Saints’ boss Tommy Wright about taking over the vacant position at Tannadice.

Wright is one of the most successful managers in St Johnstone history, having led them to consecutive top six finishes and their only cup triumph when they defeated Dundee United in the 2014 Scottish Cup Final.

Fresh off masterminding a 5-1 victory over Aberdeen, it remains to be seen whether Wright would wish to move, with over 18 months still remaining on his current deal at McDiarmid Park. (Sun on Sunday)

Efe Ambrose: Critics will make me stronger

MUCH maligned Celtic centre back Efe Ambrose says he’s used to the criticism and that it will only make him a stronger person and player.

The Nigerian has felt a fresh wave of ire following mistakes in Celtic’s 2-2 draw with Fenerbahce which let the Turkish side back into the match.

“I’m used to the criticism now,” said Ambrose, “but I will never let it get into my head. This is life. Some people like you, some don’t. But people criticising me will only make me stronger.” (Sun on Sunday)

Derek McInnes blasts soft Aberdeen defence

DEREK McInnes has called on his Aberdeen players to stand up to the challenge of being league leaders after they were made to pay for a dismal showing with a 5-1 home hammering by St Johnstone.

The Dons boss was particularly frustrating with his side’s inability to defend set-pieces and says opposing managers will now be targeting what they’ll perceive to be a weakness of Aberdeen. (Scotland on Sunday)

Neilson blames Hearts’ wastefulness for draw

DESPITE a baffling performance from referee John Beaton, Hearts boss Robbie Neilson believed his players only had themselves to blame for yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.

The hosts missed several first half chances and, even though they led through a Jamie Walker penalty, their wastefulness in front of goal came back to haunt them when Conrad Balatoni fired in a late equaliser.

“The referee never missed six chances – we did,” said Neilson. “If we had scored one of them I’d be sitting here with three points and I’d be delighted. It was nothing to do with him, it was about us and our performance in front of goal.” (Scotland on Sunday)

Stubbs hails ‘terrific’ Malonga in Hibs win

HIBS boss Alan Stubbs hailed the performance of Dominique Malonga as the Easter Road side got back to winning ways with a 3-0 victory away at Queen of the South.

The striker never scored himself, though he was responsible for helping to provide the opening two goals for the visitors, eventually tucked away by Jason Cummings and Liam Henderson, and was at the centre of Hibs’ attacking play all afternoon.

“Dom was absolutely terrific,” purred Alan Stubbs, the head coach. “He looked a danger every time the ball went up to him. That’s more like the Dom we’ve seen before.” (Scotland on Sunday)

Gordon Strachan is left holding out for a hero

THE potential for Scotland to ever again produce a world-class footballer came under discussion with Gordon Strachan this week. Asked if this was possible, the national manager didn’t hesitate before answering emphatically in the affirmative. He was still, however, insistent that there is no such player among the current ranks, which has made the road to Euro 2016 a difficult one to try and navigate.

“We’ve got some good players. World-class? No. They are not in Champions League football. I keep saying that, I look at other squads and they are all in Champions League football. We have a problem.” (Scotland on Sunday)