Rumour Mill: Josh Magennis racial abuse | James Tavernier’s route one pledge | Ronny Deila ‘crazy’ over Dedryck Boyata

Hearts' John Souttar tackles Josh Magennis. Picture: ian Georgeson

Hearts' John Souttar tackles Josh Magennis. Picture: ian Georgeson

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KILMARNOCK striker Josh Magennis says he was racially abused by Hearts fan; Chris Sutton says Ronny Deila has left Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata hanging out to dry over Hamilton sending off; James Tavernier says Rangers will not resort to route one football as he recalls Livingston long throw incident; plus all today’s football news and gossip

Josh Magennis ‘was racially abused at Tynecastle’

Kilmarnock striker Josh Magennis has claimed he was racially abused by a fan at Tynecastle. The 25-year-old Northern Ireland international is alleged to have been abused by a fan in the Wheatfield Stand after his side’s 1-0 defeat in Edinburgh.

A statement from Hearts read: “The alleged abusive remark related to the player being Irish. To clarify, this allegation does not involve the player’s colour, religion or sexuality.”

Police are investigating the incident. (Sunday Post)

Celtic’s Patrick Roberts out to prove he’s a ‘serious’ player

Celtic winger Patrick Roberts has laid out the expectations he has set for himself as a Manchester City player after the loanee called training with his team-mates south of the Border a “joy”. Roberts completed a £12 million move from Fulham to Manchester last summer, but is in the middle of an 18-month spell at Parkhead.

“You can tell the ability that’s there, as soon as I walked in the door. You can almost smell it off them,” he said. “You sense they are world-class players and it’s a joy to train with them. In the first week they did test me a bit but I got in amongst them, so I think they realised I could play a bit of football. I wasn’t there just to make up the numbers. I’m a serious player.” (Scotland on Sunday)

READ MORE: Aidan Smith: Old Firm pitch row a taste of what’s to come

James Tavernier recalls Rangers’ route one moment against Livingston

Rangers’ James Tavernier has spoken of his side’s determination to avoid route one football, which was made all the more resolute after an incident where he took a long throw-in at Livingston in a November league game. The right back has said that Ibrox boss Mark Warburton has since made sure Rangers don’t resort to such tactics if they struggle, as they did in that 1-1 result.

“In the Livingston game we started to cross the ball in when we shouldn’t have crossed it,” he said. “We started to do things we normally didn’t do, even if we didn’t necessarily launch the ball.

“I took a long throw-in. We don’t do long throw-ins. I’ve learned from it. The team has learned from that. Just to be calm and play our football because we have scored late goals in the league.” (Scotland on Sunday)

Chris Sutton blasts Ronny Deila’s ‘crazy’ decision not to back Derdryck Boyata

Ronny Deila has been accused of committing managerial suicide after failing to give his backing to Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata when he was sent off against Hamilton in a 1-1 draw. Chris Sutton says Deila left his defender “out to dry” – and that he was also wrong to admit that Boyata deserved a red card because he had in fact touched the ball.

“It’s crazy. I nearly fell over when I heard his interview. I was flabbergasted by what he said. I don’t know if he understands the size of the job at Celtic.”
He added: “Was that good man-management? I don’t think so. He has hung his own player out to dry.” (Sunday Mail)

Rangers refuse to accept title is theirs despite stretching gap

Rangers boss Mark Warburton has refused to accept that the Scottish Championship title is their, even as his side opened up an 11 point lead over nearest rivals Hibernian.

As Rangers won 1-0 against St Mirren, Alan Stubbs’ side slipped to defeat at Dumbarton.

He said: “The title isn’t ours to throw away yet. There’s still 30 points to play for and everything is geared towards playing Raith Rovers on Tuesday night. It has to be that way. They’re another tough team. Whatever goes on around, we can’t control it. We can only control what we do.”

Stubbs already appeared to concede the title to Rangers, saying after his side’s loss to Dumbarton: “We’ve left outselves too much to do now.” (Sunday Mail)

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