Rumour Mill: Aberdeen title challenge | Unbeaten Rangers

Rangers' Martyn Waghorn celebrates his first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Championship match against Dumbarton. Picture: PA
Rangers' Martyn Waghorn celebrates his first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Championship match against Dumbarton. Picture: PA
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RANGERS may have title “wrapped up by February,” says Dumbarton boss; Ryan Jack says Aberdeen are a big scalp for rivals teams now; Celtic’s John Collins plays down concerns over defensive lapses, plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip

Aberdeen a big scalp now, says Ryan Jack

Ryan Jack is convinced Aberdeen possess the grit, skill, determination and depth of squad to cope with the pressure of being the team everyone else in the Premiership is desperate to defeat.

“As players you have to notice that we are a bigger scalp because of the start we have had this season,” he said. “A lot of sides will look at Aberdeen and want to put us in our place and maybe slap us down a bit.” (Scotland on Sunday)

Kris Commons: Aberdeen can’t stop our title bid

Kris Commons has warned Aberdeen that seven wins won’t be enough to derail Celtic’s quest to defend their Premiership title. He said: “They’ve had a good start but you don’t win the league after seven games, it’s over 38. We’ll improve and we will pick up momentum.” (Scottish Sun on Sunday)

Celtic defence not a worry, says John Collins

John Collins has insisted that Celtic’s coaching staff are not overly concerned with Celtic’s defensive work despite lapses against Ajax and Aberdeen that cost them victory on both occasions.

“Worry isn’t the word to use,” said Collins as he reflected on the similarity between Schone’s late equaliser in the 2-2 Europa League draw against Ajax and Paul Quinn’s winner for Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

“Obviously we’re disappointed but it was a great ball from Schone and very difficult to defend, whipped into a dangerous area.” (Scotland on Sunday)

St Johnstone just another game, says Mark Warburton

Mark Warburton, the Rangers manager, has said that his side’s League Cup match with St Johnstone on Tuesday is not his side’s “first real test” just because they happen to be Premiership opposition.

“We know that many people will see this as our first real test but I’d say to the players it’s a bit unfair when we’ve had Hibs at Ibrox, dealt with Alloa’s surface and everyone was saying about the test at QOS,” he said. (Scotland on Sunday)

Rangers could have title ‘wrapped up by February’

Dumbarton boss Stevie Aitken has said Rangers could win the Scottish Championship by February after watching the league leaders win 11 games in a row. Speaking after his side lost 2-1 to Mark Warburton’s side, he said: “We competed well with a team that we all know will win the league and have it wrapped up by February.” (Sunday Mail)

Ladbrokes consider League Cup sponsorship

Ladbrokes are weighing up an option to sponsor the League Cup on top of their current commitments to the SPFL. Because a deal may not be agreed formally until the quarter-final stage, the competition will stand to benefit from a cut-price deal of around £200,000 from the bookmaker. (Sunday Mail)