RANGERS see off Raith but face SPFL probe into sectarian chanting; Ronny Deila says Anthony Stokes was dropped from Inter squad after late return from Dublin trip and Mark Oxley eyes settled No 1 spot.
SPFL to probe Rangers fans’ sectarian songs
RANGERS fans could have landed their club in trouble after sectarian singing during last night’s televised clash with Raith Rovers featured in match delegate Tom Purdie’s report from the game.
The offensive singing, described by Purdie as “sustained”. will put pressure on the SPFL to act following the governing body’s conclusion that neither Rangers or Celtic were to blame for sectarian singing by fans at the recent Old Firm League Cup semi-final at Hampden Park.
A section of the Rangers support could be heard singing the ‘Billy Boys’ as well as a song about IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. (The Scotsman)
Boyd and Murdoch engineer win over Raith
KRIS Boyd’s first league goal since October and Andy Murdoch’s first goal for Rangers gave the Ibrox club a 2-1 win over Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park last night, despite Ryan Conroy’s late goal sparking hopes of a comeback.
The three points sent Rangers back into second place, although Hibernian could leapfrog the Ibrox side with victory over Dumbarton at Easter Road today.
Boyd had hit the bar in the first half with a looping header while a last-ditch Seb Faure tackle spared Marius Zaliukas’ blushes in the first half after he gave the ball away.
Stokes dropped for late return from Dublin trip
CELTIC manager Ronny Deila has confirmed Anthony Stokes was dropped from the squad to face Inter for disciplinary reasons.
Although Deila did not specify the reason for the ex-Hibs striker’s omission, it is believed that Stokes angered the Hoops boss by returning from a weekend trip to the Irish capital 24 hours later than agreed.
Stokes, who took part in Celtic’s win over St Johnstone, is believed to have been scheduled to return to training on Monday but did not show up until Tuesday, infuriating Deila. (Various)
Deila slams ‘stupid’ McManaman over Europa comments
RONNY Deila has also taken aim at former Liverpool star Steve McManaman over comments he made on Thursday night after Celtic’s last-gasp draw with Inter.
McManaman questioned Celtic’s decision to do a lap of honour after snatching the draw, and appeared unimpressed by Celtic’s performance.
But Deila hit out at the BT Sport pundit, saying: “Steve McManaman was a great player and was one of my favourites when he was playing for Liverpool. But for me, this was such a stupid thing for him to say.
“For me, McManaman saying what he said is just another case of an expert having to say something which can get some headlines. That’s why I say it is stupid.” (Various)
Oxley eyes settled No 1 spot
HIBS ‘keeper Mark Oxley has admitted he is on the lookout for a settled No 1 spot, with his contract at Hull due to expire in the summer.
The on-loan Hull City goalie has played a key role in Hibernian’s season so far, making some vital saves last week as Hibs defeated Rangers 2-0.
But the 24-year-old - who is currently completing his ‘fifth or sixth’ loan spell - is keen to play as many games as possible.
He is currently behind Allan McGregor, Eldin Jakupovic and Steve Harper in the pecking order, and doesn’t appear confident of that situation changing.
But he told The Scotsman: “The main reason for me coming out on loan this year was to get playing so if I didn’t get anything at Hull then I’m in the shop window and that has stood me in good stead so far.
“This has been the most valuable in terms of coming to another country and living here and experiencing football here.” (The Scotsman)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Mark Reynolds is wary of facing a fired-up St Mirren this weekend, who have already held the Dons to a draw
• Robbie Neilson says his squad have successfully navigated the most arduous part of the league campaign and can see the finish line in their race back to the Scottish Premiership
• Stuart Armstrong believes Gary Mackay-Steven’s pace will be vital for Celtic in Milan
• Jackie McNamara says his side’s triple-header against Celtic is on the backburner, as Dundee United prepare for a crucial stage in the season
• Inverness CT kid Ryan Christie has put any talk of a big-money move to the back of his mind, insisting he’s keeping his feet on the ground