Ronny Deila blasts Ryan McGowan’s ‘horror’ tackle on Liam Henderson as the Hoops advance to the Scottish Cup semis; Rangers fan exposes wasteful half-time drills as new youth coaches appointed and Shane Ferguson pulls out of Northern Ireland squad
Deila blasts McGowan over Henderson tackle
RONNY Deila has hit out at Dundee United defender Ryan McGowan, claiming the Australian international ‘could have injured Liam Henderson for life’.
The former Hearts fans’ favourite was given his marching orders after a clumsy lunge on the Celtic youngster towards the end of last night’s Scottish Cup quarter final replay.
And Deila said: “It was a red card. It was a stupid tackle. We need to get these things out of football.
“It was a youngster trying a little trick in the corner. You could have stayed there and kept him out wide instead of going in with both feet.” (Various)
Celtic take step closer to treble
CELTIC’s 4-0 win over Dundee United at Celtic Park saw the Hoops advance to a semi-final date with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Aside from late red cards - Anthony Stokes was ordered off after an off-the-ball incident - Celtic made it through to the last four with relative ease thanks to goals from Jason Denayer, Leigh Griffiths, Kris Commons and Virgil van Dijk in a 4-0 win.
But Griffiths expects more red cards when the teams meet for a fourth time on Saturday on league duty. After last night’s two red cards, there have been six sendings-off in 270 minutes of football between the two sides.
A commanding performance from Scott Brown helped Celtic see off the challenge of United as the skipper set up Celtic’s second goal. (The Scotsman)
Rangers fan bemoans half-time ‘drills’
A RANGERS fan has posted a short video outlining one of the reasons why they feel the Gers are struggling this season.
The clip, posted on Twitter, was taken at half time during the 2-2 draw with Alloa, and shows the Wasps substitutes going through rigorous training drills, while their Rangers counterparts kick a ball back and forth with no regimented exercises.
The fan posted the video with the comment: ‘HT drills...’ (Daily Record)
Gers appoint new youth coaches
RANGERS have hired Gardner Speirs and Malky Thomson as youth coaches as part of a restructuring of the club’s academy staff.
Both were appointed last month, prior to Dave King’s consortium seizing control at Ibrox, and have been tasked with overseeing the under-15 and under-13 squads.
Craig Mulholland, now in charge of youth operations at Murray Park after Jim Sinclair’s departure last year, has also brought in former Hearts striker Andy Kirk. (The Scotsman)
Ferguson pulls out of NI squad
RANGERS loanee Shane Ferguson has withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad to face Scotland, being replaced by Dundee United midfielder Paul Paton.
The 23 year-old Newcastle midfielder, who was one of five Toon players loaned to the Ibrox side by Mike Ashley, was included in Michael O’Neill’s squad.
But days before the announcement, Rangers medical staff had told Stuart McCall that Ferguson, who has been out for the past five months, would not kick a ball again this season. (Daily Record)
McHattie won’t be cheering for Hibs
HEARTS’ inevitable crowning as champions of the Scottish Championship will take place before the weekend is over if they can defeat Falkirk on Saturday and Hibs fail to beat Rangers 24 hours later.
But Robbie Neilson has stated his preference to win the title against Queen of the South at Tynecastle in nine days’ time, rather than doing so without kicking a ball on Sunday.
Despite Neilson effectively confirming he would like to see Hibs claim a pivotal win against Rangers, Kevin McHattie admitted he’d struggle with backing Hearts’ rivals.
“Cheering on Hibs? I’m not sure about that,” McHattie said with a smile. “I’m not sure whether I’ll even watch it. I’ll maybe have a wee look for it on the telly. Whatever happens, happens.” (The Scotsman)
Stubbs has no fears over Scotland duo
ALAN Stubbs is confident that Scotland U21 involvement for Danny Handling and Jason Cummings won’t affect their chances of featuring in Hibs’ Championship match at Raith Rovers.
Stubbs was chuffed to see the young attackers earn international recognition when they were named in Danny Lennon’s squad on Monday for the friendly away to Hungary next week.
However, that match is just 48 hours before Hibs are in action at Stark’s Park, and Stubbs has already spoken with Lennon to try and come to a satisfactory arrangement that will allow Cummings and Handling to feature for Scotland in Tatabanya while also remaining fresh enough to play in Kirkcaldy.
He has no plans to request that the Rovers match be rescheduled.
“I’ve had a brief discussion with Danny Lennon and we’ll have more discussions about it before the game,” said Stubbs. “The Raith game won’t be switched unless we have more players called up.” (Evening News)
New Hearts kit to feature fans’ names
THE new Hearts third kit will feature the names of some of the 8000 fans who pledged their backing to the Foundation of Hearts, it has been confirmed.
It comes after the Jambos signed a kit deal with Puma starting this summer. The German-based sportswear company replace Adidas in a sponsorship agreement which is worth a sizeable sum.
Ann Budge said: “Puma has been very supportive with regard to meeting the requirements of our somewhat unusual third kit for next season; the fan tribute strip which will feature the names of some 8000 pledgers to the Foundation of Hearts.
“We look forward to seeing that grace the Tynecastle turf in season 2015-16.” (Evening News)
Burnley star Arfield could pick Canada
EX-Falkirk midfielder Scott Arfield could switch international allegiance to Canada after being snubbed by Scotland yet again.
The 26-year-old Burnley midfielder has been in fine form this season, but was overlooked for the Scotland squad to face Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.
And Arfield - who qualifies for Canada through his Toronto-born dad - could yet be convinced his international future lies away from Scotland. (The Sun)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Efe Ambrose has been dropped from Nigeria’s squad to face Bolivia and South Africa
• St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown has hit out at plans to build a road through the Saints’ training ground
• Derek McInnes reckons Adam Rooney is the best striker in Scotland