AS Neil Lennon insists that Rangers’ absence from the SPL will make no difference to Celtic’s title quest, John McGlynn calls for Hearts to stick together as rivals seek to put the boot in to their financial woes. Ian Black also reveals an unlikely off-field hobby - all this and more in today’s Rumour Mill
Neil Lennon: We don’t need Rangers to celebrate title
Neil Lennon said that Celtic’s seemingly inexorable march to the SPL title won’t be tainted by Rangers’ absence. The Celtic manager pointed to their SPL title romp last season, where they became champions after opening up a 20-point gap over rivals Rangers.
“People can say what they like. We won the league last season by 20 points and Rangers were there. The reality is they are not here and we have still managed to motor on.
“I have been really pleased with the consistency. That is us scored 100 goals in all competitions now this season and it’s a fantastic return.” (Evening Times)
Rivals are taking deilght in Hearts struggle, says John McGlynn
John McGlynn has admitted that sympathy for Hearts’ financial plight will be in short supply as the club’s form has nosedived in recent weeks, with only one win in the last eight games. Strict player transfer restrictions and a firesale of many of the players who featured in last season’s Scottish Cup triumph against Hibernian have seen the club forced to rely on youngsters.
“There is absolutely no point feeling sorry for ourselves, because no-one else will,” McGlynn told Hearts TV.
“Everyone will be taking great delight in kicking us when we’re down. It’s very important we all stick together.” (Daily Mail)
Craig Brown’s praise for Derek Adams as rumours of Dons vacancy grows
Aberdeen manager Craig Brown has suggested that SPL rival Derek Adams could be the man to take his job at Pittodrie. Brown’s contract ends at the end of the season, and it is understood that the former Scotland boss may be moved upstairs to make way for a younger manager.
Brown, 72, praised the Ross County boss, saying: “He’s arguably one of the best young managers around, his record is testimony to that.” (The Sun)
Ian Black claims he’s hooked on fishing
Ian Black has insisted his hardman reputation is unjustified as he revealed one of his favourite off-field hobbies - fishing.
The Rangers midfielder and Scotland cap, who has accumulated ten yellow cards and one red already this season, told the Sun: “People wouldn’t believe it. As soon as I cross that white line I’m a livewire because I’ve got that winning mentality. But off the field, I’m different - I like a bit of fishing.”
“When I was at Inverness I used to go fishing two or three times a week. I’d go there and sit, just myself and a mate, and we wouldn’t say a word for three or four hours. People find that amazing, but that’s what I do.” (The Sun)
BT strike deal to show Scottish football
BT have agreed a deal to buy the rights to show Scottish football, taking over from American broadcaster ESPN. The £12 million deal means that from next season, the British telecommunications giant will show SPL and SFL games until the 2016/17 season. (Daily Record)`