Andrew Smith

John McGinn rates his hat-trick against San Marino as the highlight of his career so far. Picture: Craig Williamson / SNS

‘I’d have to be on crutches not to join up with Scotland’ - John McGinn is not one for call-offs

The commitment question has hung around the Scotland national team like a bad smell for too long. There has been more than a whiff of something in the constant churn of players either shunning involvement or pulling out with injuries that, uncannily, seem to occur just before international breaks and resolve themselves the moment the club fixtures resume. Sharing the company of John McGinn at a Scotland camp then offers a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Scotland's Declan Gallagher, left, showed up well against Cyprus on his international debut. Picture: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Scotland analysis: Workmanlike performance but debut of Motherwell centre-back Declan Gallagher is a genuine plus

Maybe it is these feverishly political times, but a slogan of feckless former prime minister Theresa May kept coming to mind watching Scotland squeeze out a 2-1 victory in Cyprus. Hard-working families with nothing much to spare she described as “just about managing”. In ensuring back-to-back wins for the first time in Steve Clarke’s seven-month tenure, it certainly was a case yesterday of a hard-working Scotland just about managing.

Former 'Rangers chairman Sir David Murray. Picture: SNS

Andrew Smith: Not so easy to rewrite history of Rangers’ downfall

A report in The Times newspaper yesterday claimed that bungled calculations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs were responsible for Rangers’ slide into liquidation in 2012. The report was novel in one respect – the arresting conclusion at which it arrived would appear, in itself, to depend on an unfortunate helping of bungled interpretation.

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Hibs forward Christian Doidge celebrates his hat-trick to make it 4-0 during the Premiership match against St Johnstone. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS

Happiness tinged with guilt after Hibs end barren run

There was a curious swirl of emotions in the Hibernian camp on the back of what was a season high at Perth on Saturday. Sentiments that belied the easy explanation the 4-1 thumping of St Johnstone could simply be attributed to the Leith side parting with the luckless Paul Heckingbottom days earlier.

Steven MacLean, left, and  Conor Goldson in action at Hampden on Sunday. The Ibrox defender has accused  the Hearts striker of over-aggressive tactics. Picture: SNS.

Refs must get tough on strongarm tactics says Rangers’ Conor Goldson

It is 30 years since Graeme Souness made his infamous comment that Scottish football was full of hammer throwers. Conor Goldson would argue that they are still around and denting the progress of the game in this country – aided and abetted by referees who, he maintains, are singularly failing to be strong enough in dealing with strongarm tactics.

Scott Brown: The pep talk that kept my career on track

Scott Brown: The pep talk that kept my career on track

The Broony – Captain, Leader, Legend DVD Scott Brown faced the media to promote yesterday will document the 34-year-old’s extraordinary 12-and-a-half years at Celtic. Yet, the fact it is narrated by Martin Compston, pictured below, and includes a contribution from Rod Stewart leads the midfielder to 
conclude that it shouldn’t be filed under factual. Brown, forever keen to play up an image of himself as an unreconstructed Fifer, considers the brushes with celebrity afforded him have made his professional existence “a fairytale”.

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