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Rumour Mill: Rangers | Celtic | Hibs

Neil Lennon congratulates Anthony Stokes on his winner, and could sign a new deal this week. Picture: SNS

Neil Lennon congratulates Anthony Stokes on his winner, and could sign a new deal this week. Picture: SNS

  • by DAVID GUNN
 

ALLY McCoist labels Charles Green ‘an embarrassment’; Neil Lennon set to sign new deal but faces sweat over stars for Elfsborg tie and Owain Tudur Jones says Hibs can bounce back from Malmo tanking.

Charles Green is an ‘embarrassment’ - Ally McCoist

Rangers boss Ally McCoist launched a furious attack on former Ibrox chief executive Charles Green, who returned to the club as a consultant on Friday. The Yorkshireman said in an interview on Saturday that McCoist needed a league and cup double this season or he would face the consequences.

McCoist fumed: “I was appalled by Charles’ comments.

“The so-called, self-acclaimed straight-talking Yorkshireman again let himself down. His contempt and total lack of respect for my players, this football club and our support and Scottish football in general is appalling. He’s an embarrassment.

“If it was a threat, [he] should know that boys from the west of Scotland don’t scare easily. If he does come back I’ll certainly go and pick him up at the airport. I won’t have a problem doing that.

“It’s just more hot air and that’s what we’ve come to expect from Charles. He just seems to be a devious man. After I’ve given him that endorsement it would be crazy of me to say ‘welcome back Charles’.”

McCoist added that, while Forfar deserved their 2-1 League Cup win, his players had been affected by Green’s comments: “Our players picked up the newspaper at breakfast to be reminded they’re the worst team in Rangers’ history.”

New Lennon deal but injured trio cause concern

Neil Lennon has reportedly agreed verbally to a new contract at Celtic - but he faces a sweat over the fitness of defender Kelvin Wilson, Georgios Samaras, and new boy Derk Boerrigter ahead of the return leg against Elfsborg in Sweden.

The Dutchman took a knock on his ankle in the 2-1 win over Ross County and was substituted, whilst Samaras needed a scan on a suspected fractured toe. Lennon expects Wilson to be fit, adding that he suffers from shin splits at this time of year.

The Celtic manager, meanwhile, is set to put pen to paper on a bumper new deal before the match in Sweden, believed to be a new one-year rolling contract.

We can bounce back, insists Hibs midfielder Jones

Hibernian midfielder Owain Tudur Jones believes his new club can bounce back from their 7-0 home defeat at the hands of Malmo - because he’s already had to deal with a similar scoreline. The towering Welshman was plying his trade for Norwich when they suffered a 7-1 home defeat against Colchester - who former Hibs striker Eoin Doyle now plays for. Jones remembers fans throwing season tickets at manager Bryan Gunn, but says he has talked to his Easter Road team-mates about that loss in a bid to help them start the season with a win over Motherwell. The 28-year-old added that he felt manager Pat Fenlon deserved time to prove the club can bounce back, adding: “[Pat] and Jimmy Nicholl are working well together and I’m looking forward to playing under them this season.”

I’ll make Dundee the big club, vows John Brown

Never knowingly shy, Dundee manager John Brown has issued a warning to Premiership rivals Dundee United, saying that he wants to make the Dens Park outfit the big club in the City of Discovery.

Ahead of a Championship campaign that Dundee are expected to win easily, ‘Bomber’ insisted he’d be making changes at the club.

The former Rangers youth coach said: “Inside Dens never seems to have changed in the near 30 years I’ve been around the place.

“Hardly anything’s changed at the club. I’ll tell you what I’d like to change, though, and that is the dominance in Dundee. This is what I am trying to start.

“I hope the investment proposals will be dealt with and we can make a new start and move forward – and who’s to say that in a year or two’s time Dundee will not be the big club in Dundee?”

Johnston aware of Kilmarnock mountain

New Kilmarnock gaffer Allan Johnston saw his side go down 2-1 to Aberdeen in the opening game of the new Scottish Premiership, and said that he needs five new players to supplement his squad.

Goals from Johnny Hayes and Willo Flood gave Aberdeen the victory, with Kris Boyd’s goal the only response.

Johnston believes Boyd will be a key player for Killie once he reaches full fitness, but added: “I have to strengthen every area of the team. When I came in we only had 12 guys on the books.”

 

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