Ronny Deila says Celtic can still win European trophies; Derek Llambias sacks Rangers fans board; ‘Threats’forced venue change for Rangers EGM and more in Thursday’s Rumour Mill
Ronny Deila says Celtic can still win European trophies
RONNY Deila insists it’s realistic for Celtic to still dream of winning trophies in Europe.
The Norwegian will tonight take charge of his biggest game since becoming Parkhead manager when his team tackle Inter Milan in the first leg of their Europa League cracker .
He said: “Teams from Portugal have reached the Final and we can do it in Scotland as well. But we also realise that it’s small details which can make it the right thing or the other way.
“I was at a small team in Norway and now I am at a big team in Scotland and what you learn when you go around is that it’s about the small details.
“There is no great difference between the top players and the rest and in football things can happen, especially in the cups.
“In the league it’s 97 per cent to do with money but in the cup, anything can happen.” (Daily Record)
‘Threats’forced venue change for Rangers EGM
A new date for the Rangers EGM is still awaited after the board on Wednesday claimed that unspecified ‘threats’ were behind the withdrawal of a second London hotel as host.
The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel had been named as the venue on Tuesday morning but the hotel owners backed out by 5pm, stating they did not compromise on ‘the comfort and security of our guests and staff’.
A statement released by Rangers yesterday read: “It is with regret that the board must announce that, following threats from persons unknown, the Grange Hotel at Tower Hill in London has informed the company that it is no longer willing to host the general meeting on March 4, 2015.
“Accordingly, the new venue for this general meeting will be Ibrox Stadium, in Glasgow, at a date to be determined.
“Following threats, it was decided to seek a second London venue, not least because, for legal reasons, this would have preserved the ability to continue to hold the meeting on March 4. Unfortunately, these efforts have now been thwarted.” (Mail)
Derek Llambias sacks Rangers fans board
RANGERS chief executive Derek Llambias has disbanded the Rangers Fans Board after a fall-out over the publication of the minutes of their last meeting.
Llambias emailed the group, which was set up last year after the “Ready to Listen” survey, yesterday to inform them of his decision.
And this week Rangers issued a statement expressing disappointment the minutes of a meeting at the stadium last week had been made public without their permission.
A Rangers Fans Statement on Facebook revealed: “The RFB were contacted today by email from Mr Llambias to say that he was disbanding the current Rangers Fans Board and would revisit it after the EGM.
“The RFB have noted this and whilst awaiting developments will at this time continue to work together with the fans for the betterment of our great Club.” (Evening Times)
Scott Brown insists he won’t hold back against Inter
Scott Brown last night insisted he won’t hold back against Inter – despite walking a suspension tightrope tonight.
The Celtic captain is just a booking away from being banned for next week’s Europa League last-32 second leg in the San Siro.
But Brown has vowed he won’t shirk any tackles to make sure the Hoops are still in the tie going to Italy.
He said: “I’ll approach it like every other game. I get booked every game anyway! No, it’s hard knowing that you maybe don’t want to make that tackle but you need to.
“If it comes along it comes along. I’ll just need to deal with that. It’s hard. It’s the way I’ve been brought up to play, it’s the way I enjoy playing. For me to improve I need to keep doing what I’m doing while I get better at other things.
“It would be fairer for me if bookings were wiped after the group stages but the rules are the rules. Hopefully I can play against Inter away because that would be great.” (Daily Record)
Gary Oliver snubbed loan to fight for Hearts place
Gary Oliver has rejected the chance to rejoin Stenhousemuir on loan because he wants to fight for a new contract at Hearts.
The League One club asked to take the 19-year-old back to Ochilview after his loan there was cut short in December. However, he opted to stay and prove he deserves a new deal at Tynecastle.
“Gary went away and did well at Stehousemuir on loan and now he’s come back. This is his time to prove himself in training and in under-20 games and if he gets an opportunity in the first team,” said Neilson. (Edinburgh Evening News)
Bilate and Souttar close in on Dundee United return
Long-term absentees Mario Bilate and John Souttar are closing in on a return to the Dundee United first-team squad.
Hamstring problems have effectively ruined Dutchman Bilate’s first season in tangerine.
Likewise, defender Souttar has struggled with ankle injuries since damaging ligaments during the pre-season trip to Holland.
His last top-team involvement came 12 days before Christmas when he lasted only 45 minutes of the league loss to Aberdeen.
Both, though, have looked impressive since returning to full training with the first-team squad last week. (Evening Telegraph)
Roberto Mancini hails Celtic’s technical ability
Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini has hailed Celtic’s technical ability ahead of his side’s Europa League clash in Glasgow.
The Serie A giants face Ronny Deila’s side on Thursday for a place in the last 16 of the competition, with Mancini highlighting Celtic’s style of play under the Norwegian.
“We know that Celtic is a good team,” the former Man City boss said.
“We know they play football very well. They don’t play the classic long ball and they try to play on the pitch.
“I think it will be a very difficult match because they have good players, good technical players.” (STV)
News in brief:
• Peter Beardsley says Newcastle United’s Haris Vuckic, Shane Ferguson, Gael Bigirimana, Kevin Mbabu and Remie Streete will benefit from Rangers stint (Evening Times)
• Dunfermline supporters’ trust starts 2015 with a £15,000 boost after new investment. (Various)
• Roman Abramovich has faced calls to make a statement about the racist incident in Paris involving Chelsea fans. (Mirror)