CELTIC have renewed their interest in Aston Villa’s Scott Sinclair; Martyn Waghorn wants to stay at Rangers despite knocking back a contract extension; Scott Brown praised by Brendan Rodgers after Wolfsburg friendly win; plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Hibs manager Neil Lennon focuses on positives after defeat
Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon insists he has plenty to be positive about heading into Thursday’s second leg in Brondby.
Lennon’s managerial debut for the Leith side ended in defeat in midweek after goalkeeper Otso Virtanen’s costly error gifted Kamil Wilczek the only goal in the Europa League second qualifying round clash at Easter Road.
He said: “There was rustiness there and we’re lacking sharpness but some of our approach play was brilliant and we scored a brilliant goal that should have been given. I thought we matched them physically for the game, which surprised me.” (Scotland on Sunday)
Celtic target Aston Villa’s Scott Sinclair
Celtic will intensify their pursuit of Aston Villa striker Scott Sinclair after a June bid was knocked back by the English Championship club. A £1 million offer was turned down by the club, relegated from the Premiership last season, but that hasn’t put off Brendan Rodgers pursuing the 27-year-old.
The need for firewpower has been brought to sharp relief by a toothless performance in front of goal against part-timers Lincoln Red Imps in Gibraltar, a game Celtic lost 1-0.
Villa are looking for £2m more for the striker, with Newcastle United thought to be rivals for his signature. (Sunday Post)
Martyn Waghorn pledges to stay at Rangers despite deal knockback
Martyn Waghorn has stated his intent to stay at Rangers despite rejecting – alongside James Tavernier – a new extension. The midfielder starred in Rangers’ game against Motherwell in the Scottish League Cup, which the Ibrox side won 2-0 thanks to goals from Tarvernier and Waghorn. The latter is tied to the club until 2018.
“A lot of stuff has gone on and that’s up to my agent to deal with,” said the Englishman. “I’m really happy here. I had a very good season last year and I’ve got two years left on my deal.
“So I’m just concetrating on my football but my family are settled here and I just want to kick on this season.” (Sunday Post)
Brendan Rodgers defends heavily critised Scott Brown
Celtic captain will likely be given the chance to atone for an abject performance against Lincoln Red Imps after his manager, Brendan Rodgers, heaped praise on the player’s improved performance against German side Wolfsburg.
After winning the friendly 2-1, Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers talked up the skipper’s quality.
“I thought Scott Brown was outstanding,” said Rodgers. “I have been super impressed by him. I have seen him over the years as a running midfielder, but his intelligence, his aggression and the way he really manages the team on the field has been very impressive.” (Sunday Mail)
Kieran Tierney not fazed by Celtic’s Champions League defeat
Brendan Rodgers undoubtedly had his own reasons for claiming, in his post-match interview, that the 1-0 defeat inflicted by the policemen, civil servants, labourers and shipping agents who play for Lincoln Red Imps in the first leg of their second Champions League qualifying round on Tuesday was not an embarrassment for everyone connected with the club.
However, there is no argument that the loss in the Victoria Stadium was the most humiliating defeat in the club’s unbroken 128-year history.
“The plan is to win convincingly,” said Kieran Tierney, one of the few players to emerge with credit during the game. “We need to go out there in the right mindset to ensure we beat them and go through.” (Scotland on Sunday)