GORDON Strachan remains defiant after Scotland’s defeat in Georgia; Virgil van Dijk gets drafted to the senior Netherlands squad; Rangers’ Fraser Aird targeted by a string of English clubs; plus more news and gossip in Saturday’s Rumour Mill
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has insisted Scotland can still qualify for Euro 2016 following his squad’s defeat to Georgia in Tbilisi.
Strachan has reportedly backed his players to recover from the painful loss which has dealt a blow to Scotland’s Euro hopes.
The Scotland manager was downcast but defiant after last night’s clash in Georgia, saying that Scotland will regain their form against Germany. (Various)
Virgil van Dijk earns Netherlands debut
Ex-Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk has followed up his Celtic Park exit with a national team call up.
The Dutchman, who recently moved to Southampton on a £11 million deal, has been called on to replace Bruno Martins Indi.
Martins Indi was sent off in the Netherlands’ 1 - 0 victory over Iceland, leaving a spot vacant for the 24-year-old.
Van Dijk has yet to make his senior national debut which could in the Netherlands’ crunch Euro 2016 qualifier match with Turkey on Sunday. (Insidefutbol.com)
Rangers’ Fraser Aird could be set for England move
RANGERS winger Fraser Aird is reportedly being targeted by a string of clubs in the English Championship and League One.
Barnsley were rumoured to have had a bid for Aird rebuffed in August before the transfer window closed but are still said to be keen.
Bolton Wanderers, Rotherham United, Sheffield United and Bradford City are all understood to be interested.
Despite bing on the fringes of the squad, Rangers will reportedly only consider loaning Aird out with no option to buy. (HITC)
Joe Simunic: Simunovic needs to toughen up
Croatia international legend Joe Simunic has predicted new Celtic signing Jozo Simunovic will be a great success at Celtic Park - if he toughens up.
Simunovic made his Dinamo Zagreb debut alongside Simunic in 2013 and though he is reportedly a fan of the Bhoys youngster, he has hinted that Simunovic is ‘too nice’.
Simunic added that the move to Celtic will teach Simunovic, 20, what professional football is really all about. (Scottish Sun)
- Jozo Simunovic has revealed his ambitious side in an interview with Celtic’s fan magazine, saying he wants to continue being a champion at Celtic Park.
The Croatian’s former club Dinamo Zagreb have won the Croatian First League for the last ten consecutive years. (HITC)
Aberdeen’s young players need to impress in Viking match
ABERDEEN’S young players must impress in their Energy Cities Cup match against Viking FK Stavanger on Tueday, says former manager Alex Smith.
Smith has hinted that the match is the perfect opportunity for the side’s younger players to impress manager Derek McInnes while sampling the challenge of European football. (Press and Journal)
Alan Stubbs: Insall signing was ‘a gamble’
HIBS boss Alan Stubbs has reportedly admitted that sigining striker Jamie Insall was ‘a gamble’ but believes it will pay off.
Insall secured a three-year deal with the Easter Road outfit following a month-long trial.
The 22-year-old had previously played for Stourbridge in the seventh tier of English football. (Edinburgh Evening News)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Celtic FC Foundation have announced proceeds from this weekend’s Jock Stein 30th Anniversary events will go to the British Red Cross in Glasgow. (Celtic FC)
• Celtic development coach Stevie Frail has left the club to ‘seek new challenges’. (Insidefutbol.com)
• Miguel Pallardo and Blazej Augustyn are due back training with Hearts following time out for injuries. (Edinburgh Evening News)