JOHN HARTSON blasts Rangers’ complacency and believes Ibrox side are living in the past; Ronny Deila says Aberdeen lacked belief for title push; Stuart McCall urges players to follow Fernando Ricksen’s lead, plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Aberdeen lacked title belief, says Deila
RONNY Deila believes Aberdeen’s collective reluctance to talk up their status as title contenders this season was a decisive factor in Celtic retaining their crown for a fourth successive year – and suggested that Derek McInnes should’ve had more confidence in his side.
“In my experience you have to be unafraid to talk about winning the title,” said Deila. “If you say you want to come second, then you will be a number two.
“If you say you want to win the cup, you can win the cup. I came to Celtic talking about winning the treble. We didn’t get all three in the end, but that’s how I think about leadership and motivation.” (Scotsman)
Russell Anderson set for final bow
RUSSELL Anderson may be hanging up his boots but his importance to Aberdeen is reflected in a new role the Pittodrie club are creating especially for their captain.
He will officially retire after the final game of the campaign at home to St Johnstone, against whom he sustained a near season-long injury back in August.
Anderson has no interest in coaching, the usual route for ex-professionals, but the Dons will reward his long and distinguished service with a post in their financial department. (Scotsman)
Stuart McCall tells players to follow Ricksen’s lead
Stuart McCall has urged his players to “take a leaf” out of Fernando Ricksen’s book by showing the same courage as the motor neurone disease-afflicted player when they face Queen of the South in tonight’s play-off match.
McCall said: “He was a leader and a battler. We’ll need all of that in the coming weeks. His tragic illness has crippled him, really. I didn’t know him as a player, but I watched him a lot and listened to stories about him.
“He was a fighter and he’s fighting now. It’s a big challenge and everyone wishes him the best.” (The Scottish Sun)
Hibernian urge play-off charge re-think
HIBERNIAN have again called for a revamp of the play-off rules as they conceded defeat in their bid to admit season ticket holders for free.
The Easter Road club said yesterday that they would be charging £15 for adults and £10 for concessions for the Premiership play-off semi-final against Queen of the South or Rangers on 23 May.
Leanne Dempster, the club’s chief executive, said: “The introduction of the play-offs is a good thing for Scottish football, but for us, the outcome regarding season tickets has been disappointing at a time when Scottish football needs to do more to promote the game.” (Scotsman)
Rangers living in the past, says Hartson
John Hartson, the former Celtic striker, has accused Rangers of complacency and of trading on their past glories.
In a stinging piece for the Scottish Sun, Hartson suggested Rangers were no longer a proud club, and that Queens would have been delighted to have drawn Rangers in the play-off because of the Ibrox club’s form in the last eight months.
He also suggested Rangers might be better off with another season in the Championship to save them from the embarrassment of coming up short in the top division. He said: “As far as I can see, they’re not ready for ptomotion, they’re not prepared for it.” (The Scottish Sun)