St Johnstone chairman urges Tommy Wright to sign new deal; Rangers fans brand Graham Wallace a poor leader; and Saints lift the lid on cup final tactics as Jackie McNamara reflects on final defeat and Ciftci blasts Frazer Wright
Wright urged to sign new Saints deal
ST Johnstone manager Tommy Wright is set to hold urgent talks with Steve Brown after the McDiarmid Park chairman admitted he fears losing the Northern Irishman after his cup success.
Wright has just one year left on his contract and Brown is set to sit down with the 50-year-old to discuss an extension after he led the Saints to their first major silverware in a 130-year history.
Brown labelled Wright as the greatest St Johnstone manager of all time following the 2-0 win against Dundee United at the weekend, adding: “I offered Tommy a contract on Saturday night - and he doesn’t realise he’s signed it! Seriously, it’s in hand.
“Tommy has another year on his deal. It’s open to discussion but we would be looking at another two years. I will get him to sign it tonight if I can get enough drink into him.
“It’s logical to think that clubs will be coming round looking to take him away but, as far as I’m concerned, he’ll be at St Johnstone for a good few years to come.” (Various)
Wallace ‘has less influence than Sandy Easdale’
RANGERS fans have again hit out at chairman Graham Wallace, labelling him a ‘lame duck leader’ as they voiced fresh fears over the future of Murray Park and Ibrox.
Tensions between the board and the Union of Fans umbrella group have heightened in recent days, despite the club confirming they have no interest in selling the stadium and training ground as security against season ticket money.
Wallace offered to consider a legal guarantee over Ibrox, but that, and a similar offer involving Murray Park, are off the agenda, with Union of Fans spokesman Chris Graham saying: “The idea this latest board proclamation should give supporters confidence over the club’s assets is utterly ridiculous.
“In fact, it should confirm just how much danger our vital assets are in.
“It is clear Mr Wallace, despite being chief executive, has less influence in the plc boardroom than Sandy Easdale, who is not even a member of the plc board.
“Murray Park is in grave danger and has been since December 2013.”
A statement from the club suggested a split between Wallace and Easdale, who holds the proxy over more than 25 per cent of Rangers’ shareholding.
It said: “The club will not grant security over Ibrox to any organisation and therefore the ‘Ibrox 1972’ scheme can never achieve its objectives.
“The club will not accept season-ticket applications from third parties such as ‘Ibrox 1972’ on behalf of supporters. The board is rebuilding the club by ensuring its financial stability and the integrity of its assets.”
And Graham added: “They appear to be deliberately trying to cause Rangers supporters confusion.
“It is impossible to deal with this board in good faith. Until this situation is resolved we would continue to urge fans to think carefully before they hand this board hard-earned cash.” (Daily Record)
We set out to rattle Ciftci - and it worked a treat
SAINTS defender Frazer Wright has admitted that the key to the club’s first ever Scottish Cup triumph was winding up United danger man Nadir Ciftci.
Wright revealed that a pre-planned decision had been made to unsettle the Dutch striker - who has been in fine form for the Tannadice club this year - because he doesn’t think he plays as well when he gets worked up.
He explained: “I was in Ciftci’s ear a bit, winding him up, because I don’t think he plays as well when he gets worked up.
“He’s one of United’s best players and things tick for them when they go through him. It started a few weeks ago in the game at Perth when I was in his ear and I just kept it going.
“The manger wondered if I could wind him up and I thought, ‘well, he’ll do me for pace every time’. (Daily Mail)
Ciftci bemoans lack of respect
CIFTCI himself hit back at Wright’s tactics after the game, saying ‘there has to be a bit of respect as well’.
The Dutch striker, so often a handful for opposition defences, was well marshalled by St Johnstone’s central defensive pairing of Wright and Steven Anderson and couldn’t exert his influence on the game.
He added: “What he said to me in the gamer, I don’t need to go into details but that’s football. You will get that.
“I’ve learned something good and the bad players on the pitch will always look for the best players on the other team and swear at them.” (Various)
My boys aren’t ready for Europe - McNamara
JACKIE McNamara watched his side just fail to nab a spot in the Europa League before admitting: We’re not ready for Europe.
The Tannadice gaffer said: “There is a danger we might lose one or two players but there are also one or two positions I’d like to strengthen.
“Not reaching Europe is a disappointment but, in reflection, there are so many things we need to be better at before we’re ready to compete at that level.”
And the former Celtic defender rubbished talk of a move to Blackpool adding: “I’ve said all along that I’m happy here. I haven’t spoken to anyone at Blackpool and I have no intention of doing so.” (Daily Record)
Dons chief to fund Shinnie bid
ABERDEEN chairman Stewart Milne is ready to use his own money to tempt Inverness CT left-back Graham Shinnie to swap the Highlands for the Granite City.
The Dons are understood to have enquired about Shinnie’s availability, and despite little encouragement, are set to test the Caley Jags’ resolve with a five-figure bid.
However, there is interest in Shinnie from Hibernian and clubs in England, and ICT will be keen to strike the best deal for the 22-year-old, who they value at a six-figure sum.
Derek McInnes has also been linked with Partick Thistle full-back Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, and is keen to finish his transfer dealings soon due to the Dons’ early start in Europe.
He is also keen to tie up Shaleum Logan on a permanent basis following his release from Brentford, and is keen to add a striker and a ‘keeper to his squad. (Daily Express)
Rogic hits back at naysayers ahead of World Cup
CELTIC midfielder Tom Rogic has dismissed comments from critics ahead of his involvement with the Australian national side.
Rogic, who has been on loan at Melbourne Victory since signing for Celtic nearly 18 months ago, is confident he can live up to Neil Lennon’s expectations, adding: “[Critics] can write or say whatever they want, good or bad.
“All I can control is getting fit, playing and enjoying my football.
“The main thing is that you listen to the people around you, the people in the dressing room, your family and the coaches that advise you.
“Outside of that, to me it’s irrelevant.” (Evening Times)
Pressure is on Hibs, warns Accies hitman
JASON Scotland celebrated Hamilton’s passage into the play-off final before telling Hibs: The pressure is all on you.
The former Dundee United, St Johnstone and Swansea striker, who has made 15 appearances for Accies this season believes the heat is on the Hibees ahead of the two-legged clash.
He said: “They are a big club and the team that are in the Premiership and they have it all to lose.
“The other thing is they are on a bad run and when you are losing like that the pressure grows every week to get the win.
“They have had a fortnight off and now they need to pick it up again on Wednesday night and they will bring a big support who expect them to roll us over.
“From our point of view, we will take the game to them and if we can get the first goal that could be massive.” (Evening Times)