Rumour Mill: Rangers | Hibernian | Hearts | Celtic

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RANGERS are seeking clarification after it was revealed Mike Ashley has control of the club’s badges, Stuart McCall refuses to hammer his players after his side’s display showing at Queen of the South, and Hibs will refuse to grant Hearts a guard of honour in this Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.

McCall refuses to blast players after dismal showing

McCall lost his first game since taking over against Queen of the South last night. Picture: Jane Barlow

McCall lost his first game since taking over against Queen of the South last night. Picture: Jane Barlow

Stuart McCall has refused to hammer his Rangers players despite a 3-0 loss to Queen of the South at Palmerston last night. Goals from Derek Lyle, Lewis Kidd and Gavin Reilly gave the hosts a comprehensive victory, though McCall insisted the defeat was a case of complacency, rather than highlighting any glaring deficiencies in his side. (The Scotsman)

• The Rangers board are seeking clarification as to how Mike Ashley managed to gain control of the club’s badges and Broxi Bear. Interim chairman Paul Murray said the new board are in the process of discovering exactly what deals were made with Ashley by the previous regime. (The Scotsman)

Hibernian to refuse Hearts ‘guard of honour’

Hibs will not give SPFL Championship title winners Hearts a guard of honour when the teams take to the field on Sunday. Hearts have received the gesture in every match since winning the title. However, in a pre-operations meeting, Gorgie officials were told in no uncertain terms that Alan Stubbs men would not applaud their derby rivals onto the pitch. (The Scottish Sun)

• Right-back Keith Watson has been ruled out of Sunday’s derby as the Hibs man is struggling with a hamstring injury. This leaves the hosts desperately short at right back with David Gray also out injured. Midfielder Scott Robertson is also a doubt. (Edinburgh Evening News)

• Scott Allan admitted his relief that Hibs were able to get back to winning ways prior to Sunday’s Edinburgh derby. Allan and his teammates had previously lost three games on the bounce before Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Dumbarton. (The Scotsman)

Zeefuik wants to grant Hearts fans a parting gift

Genero Zeefuik is targeting a winning goal in Sunday’s Edinburgh derby as a farewell gift to the Hearts support. The Dutch forward is due to return to FC Groningen next month when his loan deal expires and wants a goal against Hibs before he leaves. (Edinburgh Evening News)

• Kilmarnock, Motherwell and St Mirren are in a race to sign former Hearts and current Falkirk goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald. The 28-year old previously played under Killie boss Gary Locke at Hearts and is out of contract in the summer. (The Scottish Sun)

Celtic: Deila wants to strike first blow

Ronny Deila wants his Celtic players to lay a marker down when they play Inverness in the Highland capital on Saturday. The Scottish Premiership encounter is the first of two games between the teams in consecutive weeks. The sides will meet again one week later in the Scottish Cup semi-final, and Deila wants his players to strike psychological blow on their opponents. (Evening Times)

• Stefan Johansen admitted it was a “big honour and big responsibility” to wear the captain’s armband in Celtic’s 2-0 victory over Partick Thistle in midweek. (The Scotsman)

Collins backs Hughes for top gaffer award

John Collins has backed former teammate and colleague John Hughes to be the SPFL Premiership’s 2014/15 Manager of the Year. Hughes brought Inverness CT back into the top six and are on course to qualify for Europe for the first time in the club’s history. (The Scotsman)

• Hughes has called on the SFA to find funding in order to help improve pitches across Scotland. Celtic boss Ronny Deila has recently criticised the state of disrepair on many surfaces, with Hughes now backing his rival SPFL manager “100 per cent”. (Scottish Sun)

News in brief

• Hearts Brad McKay admitted he felt emotional after receiving a standing ovation when subbed off during Hearts’ midweek win over Alloa. The centre back, and boyhood Hearts fan, will leave for St Johnstone at the end of this season. (The Scotsman)

• Dundee’s Paul Heffernan saw the irony in his side wanting rivals Dundee United to win on Saturday as it would help The Dees claim a top six place. (The Scotsman)

• Partick Thistle keeper Scott Fox has backed Craig Gordon to be the SPFL Premiership Player of the Year after the stopper’s standout campaign with Celtic. (The Scottish Sun)

• Aberdeen midfielder Barry Robson is desperate to earn himself a new deal at Pittodrie. The veteran is out of contract in the summer. (Daily Record)

• Ross County boss Jim McIntyre has won his second consecutive SPFL Premiership manager of the month award after side team remained unbeaten throughout March. (Press and Journal)

QUIZ: can you name these former Scotland internationals?

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