ABERDEEN bask in the cup glory as Inverness CT blast ref over penalty snub; Neil Lennon set for Tony Watt talks with Lierse boss and Terry Butcher hints at wholesale changes for St Johnstone clash.
Make it a double, urges McInnes
JUBILANT Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes hailed his heroes after Sunday’s League Cup triumph against Inverness CT - and urged his players to complete a cup double by securing the Scottish Cup in May.
McInnes, who led the Dons to their first silverware in nearly two decades, said: “As a team we have now tasted that and it’s important we try to get that success again.
“We still have the Scottish Cup and hopefully we can get ourselves back [to Celtic Park] ASAP to have another day like today.”
And McInnes added that, along with assistant Tony Docherty, he had set skipper Russell Anderson a two-trophy target at the start of the season, adding: “I’d never be foolish enough to say that publicly. Privately, though, we believed we could make a fist of it in the cups.” (The Sun)
Caley Jags bemoan penalty refusal in normal time
INVERNESS boss John Hughes echoed Richie Foran’s claims that the Caley Jags were denied a penalty during the regulation 90 minutes, after Aberdeen stopper Andy Considine appeared to fell Foran in the box.
Describing it as a ‘stonewaller’, a dejected Hughes added: “If we’d got that and scored it I’m sure that would have been the only goal.
“Richie was being held and it’s a bit disappointing that we didn’t get it.
“When it’s a penalty, it’s a penalty, simple as that. And that one was.”
And Foran said it was ‘a clear penalty’, adding that he would be phoning referee Steven McLean if replays showed that the whistler got it right.
“I don’t want to be too unfair to him, because I like him a lot’, Foran insisted, suggesting that if Inverness had had 40,000 fans then the penalty ‘would probably have been given’. (Various)
Lennon set for Watt talks with Lierse boss
NEIL Lennon is to hold crunch talks with Lierse boss Stanley Menzo this week over the Tony Watt saga, with the Celtic boss to probe the young striker’s claim that Menzo hit him prior to a match.
Lennon is reportedly becoming increasingly concerned at the situation in Belgium, after a number of bust-ups between Watt and Menzo.
The former Airdrie striker has been sent home from training on two occasions, as well as having his fitness levels questioned.
And Watt was demoted to the club’s B team last week following comments he made in a newspaper interview, but the Scotland Under-21 cap claims he was slapped by Menzo before a match with Kortrijk.
The 19-year-old - who was branded ‘unfit and lazy’ by Menzo last year - said: “I held out my hand without looking - as he usually does to me - and he gave me a slap on the face.
“I said ‘what is this?’ He told me to look at him when I shook his hand.”
Watt still has two years of his Celtic contract left to run, and Lennon could make a decision over whether to recall the youngster this week. (The Sun)
Henderson’s Fletcher comparisons understandable, says Lennon
Lennon has also praised young midfielder Liam Henderson, who made his first start for the Hoops during Friday’s 3-0 win over Kilmarnock. The 17-year-old has drawn comparisons with Scotland and Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher, and Lennon has said he can see why, telling the Evening Times: “Someone said he looked a bit like Darren Fletcher on Friday, and I can see the comparisons.
“It is obviously very, very early for that. But for a starting debut made by a kid of that age, it is fantastic for him.
“Scott Brown, Stefan Johansen and Adam Matthews helped him through the game, which was important.” (Evening Times)
Butcher: I might pick kids against Saints
RAGING Hibs boss Terry Butcher has warned his misfiring squad that they face being replaced by kids for next week’s crunch match against St Johnstone after a meek performance in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Partick Thistle.
Butcher’s side have only managed one win this year and the Jags recorded only their second home win of the season thanks to goals from Chris Erskine, Lee Mair and Kallum Higginbotham.
An understandably angry Butcher told Sky Sports after the match: “It will be an interesting team selection next week. I’d rather go with kids and lose if we’re going to lose, but let’s go with kids, at least they’re honest.
“Today [Duncan] Watmore and Sam Stanton were excellent for us and they tried their socks off, and they are being let down by other players.
“We pushed Sam out wide left to have a go at the full-back and he got into a good position for the goal, but I need three or four Sam Stantons in the team and I haven’t got that.
“I need three or four Duncan Watmores in the team and I haven’t got that.” (Sky Sports)