Rumour Mill: Scott Brown | John Rankin | Aberdeen

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THE fall out continues for embattled Celtic captain Scott Brown as Hoops legend Chris Sutton comes to his defence amid his apology to boss Ronny Deila; John Rankin insists Celtic will come up against Dundee United’s killer instinct tomorrow in the League Cup final; Derek McInnes hails Aberdeen win as title race heats up plus all the rest of today’s football news and gossip

Deila asks questions of Brown

Scott Brown celebrates at the Scottish League Cup semi-final. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Scott Brown celebrates at the Scottish League Cup semi-final. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Celtic skipper Scott Brown has kept his armband for tomorrow’s League Cup Final, and will lead a victory parade if Celtic win, it has been revealed.

Manager Ronny Deila demanded answers from Brown during talks at the team’s Lennoxtown training grounds following his drunken night out in Edinburgh on Wednesday night.

Brown was photographed slumped in the street in Edinburgh city centre.

According to the Scottish Sun, Brown apologised in full before Deila made it clear to him that there should be no repeat performance of his behaviour in the capital. (Scottish Sun)

Under fire skipper Brown must wait for beers and kebab

Former Celtic star Chris Sutton has come to the defence of captain Scott Brown following his boozy night out on the tiles just days before the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden.

Sutton is tipping Brown for a man of the match performance this Sunday, saying he can then go and toast Celtic’s success with beers and a kebab.

He said: I’m sure it won’t affect Brown or Celtic. He will probably go out and have a few beers and a kebab if he lifts the Cup.” (Daily Record)

Rankin comes out fighting for Dundee United

Dundee United midfielder John Rankin has warned Celtic to expect see the team’s killer instinct in tomorrow’s Scottish League Cup final.

Fresh from last year’s heartbreak in the Scottish Cup final, Rankin insists Celtic will see ‘the real Dundee United’.

He said: “People keep saying we have reached back-to-back cup finals but we let ourselves down in the last one. By letting ourselves down, I don’t mean by losing the final.

I just mean it wasn’t the real United side from last season that turned up.” (Scottish Sun)

Derek McInnes hails Aberdeen win as title race heats up

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes said last night’s 2-1 victory against Motherwell may prove to be their most important of the season.

The Dons were trailing at the break to a Scott McDonald goal but managed to hit back with to two quickfire strikes within seven minutes of the restart to keep their Scottish Premiership title aspirations alive.

He said: “I am really pleased with the three points because for long periods the match didn’t go our way.

“You never know, that could be the most important three points of the season. I take so much satisfaction from that second-half performance and getting the win.”

The win leaves Aberdeen just three points behind Celtic in the title race. (Press and Journal)

Winning would be the tops says McNamara

Dundee United gaffer Jackie McNamara insists a victory tomorrow in the League Cup final would be his greatest truimph.

During a glittering, decade-long career as a player at Celtic Park, the current United boss won ten major honours but believes beating the Hoops to lift his first trophy would put the rest of his career in the shade.

He said: “It probably would be more special winning as a manager.” (Scottish Sun)

Stubbs has no interest in copying Jambos

Hibs boss has insisted he doesn’t care matching about Hearts’ 10 - 0 drubbing of Cowdenbeath a fortnight ago, stating the only thing he cares about is taking the three points.

Stubbs said: “All I’m interested in is the win. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 - 0, 1 - 0 or 3 - 1, they all boil down to three points.” (Daily Express)

QTS delighted by cup sponsorship success

QTS, sponsors of the League Cup, have insisted that Scottish football can still be a fruitful marketing ground for commercial partners. Alan McLeish said: “QTS enjoyed unprecedented media exposure, to a value in excess of £1m, through promotion with SPFL and clubs in the lead up to and during the semi-finals.” (Herald)

News in brief:

• Nadir Ciftci’s recent antics could have ruled him out of a move to Celtic (HITC.com)

Raheem Sterling has shelved contract talks until the end of the season in a bid to concentrate on Liverpool’s league push. (Mirror)

Louis Van Gaal has been accused of a lack of respect for Ryan Giggs, Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria. (Mirror)

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