The Rumour Mill: Sunday’s Scottish football news and gossip

In today’s Rumour Mill: Ally McCoist hits out at Rangers’ performance, McGivern may stay at Hibs, and the Scottish game is set for an overhaul.

In today’s Rumour Mill: Ally McCoist hits out at Rangers’ performance, McGivern may stay at Hibs, and the Scottish game is set for an overhaul.

McCoist slams Rangers performance

Ally McCoist has hit out at his rangers squad after they left the pitch red-faced following a late equaliser by Elgin in the closing minutes of yesterday’s Division Three clash.

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“We should have had the game won out of sight but we didn’t play well,” said McCoist.

“I warned our boys at half time there was always a chance Elgin could nick a goal as long as it was 1-0. I urged them not to give away silly free kicks but we did that and then defended appallingly, losing a comical goal.”

Rangers keeper Nail Alexander fumbled the ball into his own net, snatching a draw for the visitors at Ibrox.

McCoist added: “Neil knows he made a mistake, and he will deal with it. It was actually the overall performance that disappointed me more.” (The Sun)

Hibs boss gets McGivern boost

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has received a boost with the news that Ryan McGivern may shun the English Championship in favour of staying at Easter Road.

A number of English clubs are said to be keen to attract the 21-year-old when his loan deal from Manchester City expires in March, but the defender has said he’d like to stay at Hibs.

“Hopefully within the next week I’ll know if I’m staying,” McGivern said.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute at Hibs and I’d be happy to stay. Celtic are in the knockout stages of the Champions’ League and that shows you it’s a high standard up here.” (Mail on Sunday)

McGowan ready to replace . . . McGowan

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Ryan McGowan’s departure to Chinese side Shandong Luneng won’t have a massive impact on the Hearts squad, according to Kevin McHattie, as his brother Dylan McGowan can fill the gap.

Hearts accepted an offer for the Scottish Cup hero last week, but his younger sibling has already made an impressive start to his Tynecastle career since his September debut.

“I actually prefer Dylan playing just in front of the defence,” McHattie said.

“He’s good in there. He gets the ball and plays it and he is solid.

“Ryan will be a great loss, but obviously we have to move on from that. I wish him all the best. He has been here a while and he has been one of the players I looked up to.”

The 21-year-old McGowan helped Hearts keep a clean sheet playing in defence during the recent Edinburgh Derby. (The Sun)

League set for overhaul

Scottish football is headed for a drastic overhaul after the SFL backed a proposal for two top flights of 12.

Chief Executive David Longmuir revealed that SFL and SPL clubs have met three times in the last four weeks to decide on the details, with another meeting scheduled for this week.

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Previous SFL plans for a 16-team top tier have fallen out of favour, with a 12-12-18 structure being the preferred format.

However, a new league body will have to be decided upon in order to govern all 42 teams.

“The SPL are beginning to come round to the idea that this is the best way to take the game forward,” said Longmuir. “That’s one of the things that the SFL have been very positive about - we want a 42-club solution to take the game forward.” (Various)

Wilson backs Rogne

Celtic’s Kevin Wilson has backed Thomas Rogne to step in for the absent Efe Ambrose as the Nigerian goes to the Africa Cup of Nations later this month.

“He’s a born defender,” Wilson said. “When you have someone like that it lets you try to bring the ball down. It’s nice to play with someone like that.” (Sunday Mail)

Sheridan happy to stay put

Kilmarnock star Cillian Sheridan is glad to have a quiet January for once, as the nomadic striker is staying put during the transfer window.

With a year and a half left on his contract, the Irishman doesn’t have to worry about moving anytime soon.

“It’s always been trying to get things sorted with clubs, like re-signing loans or going back to clubs. So it’s good to know where I’m coming back to and it gives me something to aim for.”

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Three years ago Celtic put Sheridan on loan, which started a flurry of moves to Motherwell, St Johnstone (twice), and CSKA Sofia (also twice), before he settled in Kilmarnock. (Mail on Sunday)

Butcher to stay at Caley

Inverness will breath a sigh of relief at keeping Terry Butcher as their manager.

Barnsley had reportedly been interested in luring the Caley boss south, but Sean O’Driscoll is set to take the job instead.

Butcher has helped Inverness climb the SPL table into second place, and losing the former Rangers skipper would be a blow to the Highland side. (The Sun)

Brown hails youngsters

Aberdeen boss Craig Brown has predicted a bright future for the Dons courtesy of the squad’s youngsters.

Hailing the young talent at Pittodrie, Brown said: “We had four youngsters playing against Dundee United last weekend - Joe Shaughnessy, Clark Robertson, Cammy Smith, and Ryan Fraser - in what was a demanding fixture.

“It’s good for the club, and good for the lads themselves. In our previous game against St Johnstone, 10 of the 18 players on duty for us were under 21 - and that was quite exceptional.” (Sunday Mail)