Terry Butcher odds-on favourite for Hibernian job as Rod Petrie denies link; Fernando Ricksen reveals IRA fears; Scott Brown backs Celtic team-mates against Ajax, plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie refused yesterday to corroborate speculation that Terry Butcher has become the favourite to succeed Pat Fenlon as manager.
The Easter Road outfit lost 1-0 to Motherwell at Fir Park in their first match since the Irishman’s resignation on Friday.
Afterwards Petrie declined to comment on talk that Inverness manager Butcher is the man he wants to take the club forward.
He said: “I think Pat Fenlon did a good job but he’s made his decision and we are looking forward now. I’m not going into any names. It’s important that we take our time and get the right guy.”
Meanwhile, The Scottish Sun report that Butcher has been spoken to about the vacant Hibs post, with Petrie lining up John Brownlie as part of Butcher’s new regime.
(Scotsman, The Scottish Sun)
Fernando Ricksen feared IRA bullet
Former Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen scored a League Cup Final goal against Motherwell fearing a bullet from the IRA. Ricksen, who scored a free kick in the 5-1 win in 2005, revealed he received an anonymous threat with a bullet enclosed that read: “This will be your reward if you have the guts to play well in the final. If you do well in this game you will be floored by the IRA.”
He said: “My mind was full of dark fears, but I told myself: ‘it isn’t possible somebody would be crazy enough to kill a bloody football player.’”
Elsewhere in the Scottish Sun, Ricksen also revealed he taunted former Celtic midfielder Alan Thompson by going to his house and shouting through his letterbox: “Thompson, no luck with that penalty, you loser! Championees, championees, away, away, away!” Thompson had missed a spot kick that effectively handed the title to Rangers on goal difference in 2003. (The Scottish Sun)
Pressure on Ajax, admits Frank de Boer
Ajax manager Frank de Boer admits that his side are under pressure to produce a result against Celtic in the Amsterdam ArenA. Ajax lost 2-1 at Parkhead and are bottom of Group H with three games to go. Former Rangers defender De Boer saw his side lose 1-0 to Vitesse Arnhem on Saturday, putting further strain on his young side ahead of their crucial tie against Celtic.
“[Celtic] will go into the game more confident than us because we’re the team under pressure right now. But, normally in football, when you’re under the most pressure you play the best games.” (Daily Mail)
Scott Brown has backed his Celtic team-mates to conjure a repeat of their win against Dutch giants Ajax when they travel to the Amsterdam ArenA this week. The Scotland captain is suspended for the game after a three-match ban for a red card against Barcelona was upheld.
“I’m going over to Amsterdam with the rest of the lads,” Brown said. “I’ll be in the dressing room before the game, giving them my support, but I won’t be giving a talk. That’s the gaffer’s job.
“I think they’ve got a great chance of getting a good result. They showed that with the way they played against Ajax at Celtic Park.
“Ajax are renowned for their passing game but our lads managed to get the ball down and play some good stuff.” (Scotsman)
Partick Thistle goalkeeper Scott Fox will run out at Pittodrie with a spring in his step tonight after being named in the Scotland squad for the forthcoming games against USA and Norway.
Expected to be included by Gordon Strachan for the first time, Fox will become the first Firhill player to grace the senior international side since Nicky Walker in 1996 if he is called into action in either friendly. (Scotsman)
THERE is an old standby slogan used in retailing whenever the creative types in the advertising department run short of inspiration. “There’s never been a better time to . . . ” , it runs.
Football clubs tend not to take out ads whenever they have a key vacancy, preferring to do their recruiting behind the scenes. But, if Hibernian were to advertise for a new manager, they would be entirely justified in pressing that slogan into service.
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