Rumour Mill: Kenny McDowall apologises | Rangers EGM

Rangers manager Kenny McDowall apologised to fans after the Raith defeat. Picture: Getty

Rangers manager Kenny McDowall apologised to fans after the Raith defeat. Picture: Getty

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Rangers caretaker boss Kenny McDowall apologises to fans; Richard Gough asks fans to stay away from club EGM; Stefan Johansen: Celtic’s current squad on verge of history and more in Monday’s Rumour Mill

Rangers caretaker boss Kenny McDowall apologises to fans

Rangers caretaker boss Kenny McDowall has apologised to fans for his team’s historic Scottish Cup loss at home to Raith Rovers.

The Fifers recorded their first win over Rangers at Ibrox in 56 years to claim a place in Monday’s quarter-final draw.

And McDowall, responding to the fury heaped upon himself and his players by a crowd of just 11,422, said he understood why supporters had lost faith after a second straight cup defeat on consecutive Sundays.

McDowall, who watched his team meekly exit the League Cup at the hands of Celtic just seven days earlier, said: ‘I would just like to apologise that we’ve been knocked out of another cup.

‘They come to watch their team and pay good money and it’s our job to try to get a win on the day — and we have failed, so we apologise.

‘We just have to get on with it — there’s still a long way to go in the league campaign. We have to lift ourselves up and start winning football games. (Daily Mail)

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Stefan Johansen: Celtic’s current squad on verge of history

Stefan Johansen last night admitted Celtic’s current squad feel they are on the verge of writing new history.

Ronny Deila’s in-form team stayed firmly on course for a domestic treble after they swept past Dundee to book a place in today’s Scottish Cup quarter-final draw.

With a League Cup Final date against Dundee United secured for next month and Celtic top of the Premiership, Johansen knows something special is within reach. Celtic have only won three trebles – in 1967, 1969 and 2001 – but Johansen said: “I feel how close we are to doing something special.“We have a final and now we are in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup.“The league is also going to be very tough but we are in everything and I believe if we take one game at a time it’s the best thing to do.“We want to go as far as possible in Europe but we know it’ll be tough.“Now we are close in the League Cup, we are leading the league and we just need to keep going with the form we are showing at the moment.” (Daily Record)

Christian Nade not surprised by Raith win

Match-winner Christian Nade insisted: ‘We came here to win. It’s probably a shock for everyone else but not for us. We knew we had a chance after watching their defeat against Celtic last weekend because their confidence would not be the best. So we came here looking to take our chance.

‘We lost 6-1 here last time and didn’t think it was deserved, so we tried to focus on keeping our shape and it worked. Even when they scored to make it 1-1, I still believed we could win. We always believed we could score again. (Daily Mail)

Modi confirms intent to buy stake in Rangers

Indian Premier League Founder Lalit Modi “confirmed his interest in buying a stake” in Scottish Championship side Rangers, according to Andrew Miller of the LONDON TIMES. Modi, who was banned for life by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in ‘13 after being found guilty of indiscipline and misconduct, last week declared himself “vindicated” of the findings of the Indian Supreme Court’s investigation into corruption in the IPL, and “speculation has been rife about his return to sports administration.” Modi said in a statement on Twitter, “Glasgow Rangers FC is an institution in itself given the history and lineage of the club. Yes, I am looking at acquiring a stake in this Scottish institution, as I think the club is seriously undervalued.” (sportsbusinessdaily.com)

Richard Gough calls on fans to stay away from club EGM

Richard Gough has called on the Rangers support to stay from the club’s EGM in London over concerns that the board will seek and adjournment if thousands of people appear. The venue, in which the EGM will be held on March 4th, can only hold 500 people and there are claims Somers could seek to call off the meeting should attendance numbers exceed that figure. However Gough has posted a message on Facebook urging the Rangers fans not to attend and cast their votes by proxy, he said: “The most important thing is that the meeting takes place. We cannot give the board any excuse to adjourn it.” (Herald)

Celtic boss Ronny Deila comments on Rangers loanee situation

Celtic boss Ronny Deila has spoken about the importance of having total control on footballing matters in his job.

Deila was asked about the situation at rivals Rangers, who have signed five players on loan from Newcastle United.

Deila said: “I’ve never had conditions imposed on me. I haven’t experienced those things and the power is important. When you choose a club it’s important that you know you can work with the people there.

“This is a very professional club and they want to improve all the time. I had the right feeling in my stomach and since then our working relationship has been good. We speak every day.” (Scotsman)

Kenny McLean shines on Aberdeen debut

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes was pleased with Kenny McLean’s debut performance in the 4-0 win following his transfer deadline day move from St Mirren.

The attacking midfielder, who cost the Dons a fee in the region of £275,000, linked well with Adam Rooney in the first half but dropped deeper after the interval following substitute Peter Pawlett’s introduction.

McInnes said: “I thought he was really efficient with his work. The little change we made at half time probably restricted him a bit in terms of the roles he was asked to play this season with St Mirren. In the first half we asked him to play close to Rooney and I thought he got in to good areas and he worked their goalkeeper a couple of times.

“I don’t think he wasted the ball all afternoon and he did his bit against the ball in working hard for the team but he still showed moments of elegance and class, so I thought he went about his business really well.” (Scotsman)

Jackie McNamara praises clinical Dundee United

The Tannadice side put three past the lower-league outfit in just 10 first-half minutes to secure a 3-0 victory.

Chris Erskine kept his cool to slot under the goalkeeper after 21 minutes before Ryan Dow scored two goals in four minutes to make the tie safe with barely half an hour played.

McNamara said: “I thought we were clinical in the first half. Second half was more scrappy and more kick and rush, but you have to give Stranraer credit for that.

“Although it was not pretty the most important thing from our point of view is that we are in the draw today. (Evening Times)

Nacho Novo took time out of his honeymoon to play charity match

RANGERS legend Nacho Novo yesterday took time out of his honeymoon to play in a charity match in memory of tragic schoolboy Jak Trueman.

The Spanish footballer wed long-term girlfriend Donna Clark on Thursday.

But the celebrations were paused so Novo could take part in the Jak Trueman Challenge Trophy match at Almondvale Stadium. He was joined by ex-Celtic star Frank McAvennie, former Rangers men Marvin Andrews and Neil Alexander and Livingston’s Mark Burchill, Darren Jamieson and Callum Fordyce. (Daily Record)

News in brief:

• Leicester have confirmed that Nigel Pearson is still in charge despite rumours to the contrary. (Mirror)

• Sam Allardyce has accused Manchester United of resorting to long ball tactics to snatch a late point at Upton Park. (Mirror)

• The Daily Mirror have released a new picture of Spurs player Harry Kane in an Arsenal top as a kid. (Mirror)

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