Griffiths ‘could face Cyprus’
Leigh Griffiths could be available to whoever takes charge of Scotland for the Euro 2020 qualifiers in June, according to interim Celtic manager Neil Lennon.
The striker, who has not played this year after taking time out of the game to deal with personal and mental health issues in January, returned to the club’s Lennoxtown training last month, He is expected to begin full sessions with the Celtic senior squad in the next week and Lennon believes that selection for Scotland’s hosting of Cyprus on June 18 and their encounter in Belgium three days later is not only possible, but desirable for all parties. (The Scotsman)
‘I think it would be better if he doesn’t referee any more Kilmarnock games’
Steve Clarke said Steven McLean produced “the worst refereeing performance of my career” after his Kilmarnock side were reduced to eight men in their 1-0 defeat at home to Kilmarnock.
And the Rugby Park boss said the official should be spared Kilmarnock games in the future - after inferring the referee was guilty of overcompensating as his hall-of-fame father Stuart had played over 400 games for the club.
Clarke said after the match: “I congratulated him and told him it was the worst refereeing performance in my career... and I’ve had a long career. He lost control of a professional football match.
“I think it would be better for him and Kilmarnock if he doesn’t referee any games for us.” (The Scotsman)
Gerrard fires warning to Morelos after Defoe goal
Steven Gerrard has told Jermain Defoe the centre forward shirt is his to lose after seeing him score his seventh goal for the club in this afternoon’s 3-1 win over Hearts.
Alfredo Morelos has one more match to sit out through suspension, but Gerrard has warned the Colombian striker it won’t be easy to win back his place in the side. He said: “[Jermain] has the No 9 shirt at the moment. The first six months of the season Alfredo was in that good form it just made sense to bring him back, there wasn’t really anyone challenging for that No 9. There is a challenge there now.” (The Scotsman)
McInnes in thinly-veiled dig at Shinnie
Derek McInnes admits it’s “extremely unlikely” Graeme Shinnie will remain at Aberdeen.
The Dons boss seemed frustrated that his captain was seen at Derby County’s stadium just days before the Reds’ Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic. Rams manager Frank Lampard has publicly admitted his interest in the midfielder.
McInnes said: “I’ve been asking him for months about what his future holds and then it blows up before the semi-final. It’s up to Graeme to sort out his future. There’s been certain clubs interested that he just wouldn’t entertain and we thought we would still have an opportunity to keep him.” (Daily Record)
SFA ‘will have to break bank’ to land Bilic
The SFA will have to pay big money to make Slaven Bilic the next Scotland boss, according to reports.
The Croatian manager has thrown his hat into the ring to succeed Alex McLeish but the former West Ham boss won’t be a cheap option.
He pocketed £50,000 a week in his last job with Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad – and took a team of seven to assist him. (Daily Record)