Rumour Mill: Rangers v Hibs | Celtic | Dundee Utd

Ally McCoist dismissed Alan Stubbs' remarks over Monday's referee. Picture: SNS
Ally McCoist dismissed Alan Stubbs' remarks over Monday's referee. Picture: SNS
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Ally McCoist hits back at Alan Stubbs comments over refereeing; Callum McGregor keeping his feet on the ground as Deila hopes for run of wins and Paul Paton eyes title bid at Dundee United.

‘Stubbs can ref the game if he wants’

RANGERS boss Ally McCoist has insisted he would have no problem if Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs wanted to choose the referee, or even officiate himself when the two sides meet on Monday.

The former Celtic defender said on Thursday that he was hoping for a strong referee, admitting that he was still irked by the controversial red card dished out to Danny Handling when the two clubs met on Petrofac Training Cup duty in August.

But McCoist said yesterday: “I don’t have a problem if [Stubbs] wants to referee the game himself. Or, if he wants to pick someone else to referee it, I don’t have a problem with that. I thought some of his comments were laughable, to be quite honest.”

The Rangers boss added that he was happy with the appointment of Calum Murray as the match official, describing him as ‘one of the best. (The Scotsman)

Daly keen to open up gap on Hibs

FORMER Dundee United forward John Daly has admitted he’d love to see Rangers open up a 10-point gap on Hibs with victory at Ibrox on Monday.

The Irishman is determined to subdue Hibs after their 2-0 League Cup win away to Ross County during the week, and believes that it’s up to Rangers to ensure the Easter Road side can’t bounce back from their stuttering league form.

“I watched the [Petrofac Training Cup] game last month and I was quite impressed by Hibs. They passed the ball well and looked like they had a decent set-up.

“That’s the level they can hit and I thought they were excellent on the day. They have that in their locker but their confidence has taken a dent since then.”

Three points for Rangers, and victory for Hearts against Livingston on Sunday would see Hibs fall 10 and 13 points behind their two rivals respectively. (Evening Times)

McGregor ‘being kept grounded’ by family and friends

CELTIC midfielder Callum McGregor has revealed that his friends and family are helping him keep his feet on the ground - especially as his mum still makes him tidy his room.

The 21-year-old, who has netted three goals for the Hoops this season, is hopeful of continuing to improve, but told the Daily Record: “I get recognised quite a lot now but try not to let it bother me because I can’t get big time.

“It’s important to stay the same person and on the same level to keep playing, performing and working hard.”

The youngster, who had a successful loan spell with Notts County last year, was rewarded with a five-year contract last month, and believes it is only a matter of time before Celtic get themselves on a good run. (Daily Record)

Paton eyes title bid

PAUL Paton is refusing to rule out a title challenge from Dundee United after Jackie McNamara’s men finally learned how to win ugly.

The Tangerines won 4-1 at Dens Park on league duty last week, before knocking their city rivals out of the League Cup with a last gasp victory midweek.

And Paton believes that the 1-0 win - aided by a penalty save and red card for Dundee - suggests that the Tannadice club have overcome their desire to play free-flowing football and instead focus on getting a result.

He said: “Last season we got a lot of plaudits when we were doing well but when we weren’t at it, we dropped points. Now we have found a way to win ugly.

“When I first arrived here, everything had to be spot-on – free-flowing football – to get a win. Now there are times when we are not as good but the wins are still coming.” (The Scotsman)

News in brief

• Kilmarnock striker Josh Magennis is keen to repay Allan Johnston’s faith in him by netting against Partick Thistle today

• Stevie Crawford is counting on the older heads in the Hearts team to help temper the younger players as they go into tomorrow’s clash with Livingston hoping to maintain their unbeaten start to the season

• Murray Davidson could make his first league start for St Johnstone after making his comeback from a serious knee injury. The midfielder played 12 minutes of last weekend’s match against Inverness CT and played the full 90 minutes against Kilmarnock in the League Cup