NEIL Lennon is surprised to see his Dutch defender snubbed, Rangers make an embarrassing PR mistake, and Aberdeen eye up a European spot, plus more from around the SPFL in Saturday’s Rumour Mill
Virgil van Dijk: Dutch snub shocks Lennon
CELTIC manager Neil Lennon has admitted that he is surprised to see Virgil van Dijk left out of the Dutch provisional squad for the 2014 World Cup.
Lennon said: “I’m surprised because I think he’s good enough to be in the provisional squad of 33.
When asked for his opinion on why van Dijk may have missed out, Lennon said: “I don’t know why. You’d have to ask the coach of Holland about that.” (BBC)
Rangers Cup advert names wrong opponent
RANGERS were left red-faced after getting their opponents’ name wrong in promotional material for the club’s Scottish Cup quarter-final .
The Ibrox side touted the atmosphere of the Ibrox matchday experience and encouraged fans to buy tickets for the clash with Stirling Albion - but Rangers are actually taking on Albion Rovers in the last-eight tie.
Rovers boss James Ward said: “I am sure that Ally McCoist knows that it is Albion Rovers that are turning up. It’s our club’s first quarter-final in 80 years and we will be there.” (Scotsman)
Aberdeen eyeing Europa League, says Rooney
ADAM Rooney says his Aberdeen side are aiming to kick on to secure second place in the Scottish Premiership, and the Europa League place that comes with it.
Rooney said: “The target in the league is to finish second this season and get into Europe.
“However, to achieve that we know we will have to work hard in every single game, give it everything and play the best we can.” (Evening Express)
Buddies’ Goodwin sorry for Armstrong challenge
ST Mirren captain Jim Goodwin has issued a public apology for the challenge on Dundee United’s Stuart Armstrong which saw him cop a two-match ban.
Goodwin said: “It is three months on and we are still talking about it but hopefully this will put an end to it once and for all. It was a stupid thing to do and I apologised in person to Stuart afterwards.
“I did go over the top and I fully accept that and I said sorry to my team-mates and my manager. I had not been able to do that publicly since and I am doing it now.” (Record)
Scotland ‘fear no-one’ in Euro 2016 draw
GORDON Strachan says he has no fear of any team in Europe, as Scotland prepare for another tough draw in a major tournament.
The national side are in pot four for the Euro 2016 draw in Nice tomorrow, but Strachan says he is “excited” by the prospect of knowing his next opponents.
Strachan said: “There are special teams like Spain and Germany among the top seeds, but I don’t really fear anyone. I have genuinely not looked at who we could get... Mark McGhee does all that for me.” (Scotsman)
Flood’s goal voted best in January
ABERDEEN’S Willo Flood has won the Goal of the Month award for January, in poll voted for by SPFL fans. His goal against Hibernian at Pittodrie was the resounding choice of the SPFL YouTube community, winning with 59.8% of the vote! The breakdown was as follows:
Today’s SPFL Premiership fixtures (3pm unless stated)
• Hearts v Celtic (12:45pm)
• Kilmarnock v Hibernian
• Partick Thistle v Aberdeen
• Ross County v St Mirren
• St Johnstone v Inverness Caledonian Thistle