Leigh Griffiths Old Firm doubts grow, Gordon Smith criticises Joey Barton and Tom Hately recalls supporter attack in Poland.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has maintained his team will not be starved of goals if Leigh Griffiths is ruled out of tomorrow’s first league derby against Rangers at Parkhead in four years. The club’s top scorer appears increasingly likely to be sidelined with the hamstring problem that forced him to miss Scotland’s win in Malta.
- Mark Warburton says his side are not affected by their underdog status in Saturday’s Old Firm match.
He said: “As far as we are concerned, we have our own thoughts in our dressing room which will stay private. It is not about bookies’ odds, it is not about comments or opinions about us, it’s about going out and producing a performance.
“We have enough players who are not daunted by this game. They are looking forward to this game, they are relishing this game. If you can’t enjoy playing in front of a good arena, with a 60,000 crowd and a good television audience as well, then don’t play the game of football.
- Former Nottingham Forest and Liverpool striker Stan Collymore has predicted on Boylesports.com that Celtic will win against Rangers this weekend.
- Football agent and former Scottish FA boss Gordon Smith says it was a mistake for Joey Barton to be outspoken about Celtic players and their manager.
He said: “In the first game I played, if I’d said I was going to score a hat-trick that day and scored two I’d have been criticised because I’d under-achieved from what I said I would do. Joey has said he will outplay Scott Brown and he is far better. If Rangers are underdogs for the game, Scott Brown is underdog for that battle because Joey has boosted himself up. I think to a certain degree [he doesn’t know what he has let himself in for].
- Celtic forward Patrick Roberts is hoping to atone for his Scottish Cup semi final miss by putting on a performance in Saturday’s derby.
“It was painful at that moment,” he said. “It hurts, but it happens and you’ve got to move on. To be fair the Celtic fans were quite good. Some were very frustrated, as you can understand. After all I was very frustrated and so too were my family.
- Murdo MacLeod has backed referee Willie Collum to cope inconspicuously with his return to the centre of Old Firm combat tomorrow.
- Celtic stars completed almost a staggering 60,000 combined miles of travelling before the Old Firm showdown with Rangers this week due to international duties
Tom Hately relives moment he was attacked by supporters
Dundee new boy Tom Hateley last night relived the horror moment Polish fans literally tore a strip off him after a derby defeat.
Hateley returned to Scotland earlier this week following a two-year spell with Slask Wroclaw.
The 26-year-old former Motherwell star will never forget when Slask supporters went berserk in the wake of their 2-0 home derby defeat by rivals Zaglebie Lubin in Meach.
They felt the players were no longer fit to wear the jersey and wasted no time in reacting – which almost led to a full-scale riot. (Record)
Hibs drop interest in Modelski
Hibs are looking elsewhere for a new right-back after dropping their interest in trialist Filip Modelski. Neil Lennon is keen to recruit a back-up for captain David Gray, and the 23-year-old Pole, who trained with the club last week, was deemed a strong candidate by the manager. However, after playing in Tuesday’s development league match against Motherwell, Modelski will not be landing a deal. (Evening News)
Brendan Rodgers wins MOTM award
Brendan Rodgers was today presented with the Scottish Premiership Manager of the Month award for August after making a perfect start to Celtic’s league defence.
The Irishman guided the champions to three wins out of three in the opening weeks of the season to send them top of the table ahead of this weekend’s Glasgow derby. (Various)
- Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty says having Jonny Hayes fit again is “almost like signing a new player”. (National)