Scotland: Griffiths ‘had messages over decision’
Gordon Strachan yesterday sought to ease Leigh Griffiths’ fears after the Wolves striker expressed his disappointment at being overlooked for a Scotland call-up against Norway tonight.
However, the Scotland manager did advise Griffiths to turn his mobile phone on after he was frustrated in his attempts to get hold of the striker over the weekend.
“I’ve left a message for him so he knows why he wasn’t included,” said Strachan yesterday. “You can’t get to Leigh, though: I’ve left three voicemail messages for him.
“He’s always under consideration for a place and I spoke to everyone whom I felt deserved a ‘phone call and an explanation because of the work they’ve done for us previously. But it’s like Boyd – there are no doors shut on anyone here unless they shut them themselves.” (Scotsman)
Celtic target Republic of Ireland keeper David Forde
Celtic are monitoring Millwall goalkeeper David Forde, according to reports. The Republic of Ireland international is being lined up to replace Fraser Forster as the stopper, who won his first England cap last week against Chile, is amassing a growing number of suitors across the continent. With Barcelona, Manchester United and Benfica all rumoured to be following Forster’s progress, Forde’s signature will likely become a top priority for Celtic manager Neil Lennon. The 33-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, and would represent a deal that will please the money men at Celtic Park. (The Sun)
Kris Boyd vows ‘I will score more than I miss’
Kris Boyd yesterday stressed that he had not travelled to Norway simply to make up the numbers as he prepared to make a first appearance for his country since a World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein in 2010.
Now that he is fit and playing regularly once again at Kilmarnock, the 30-year-old believes he can still be of value to manager Gordon Strachan. “If I didn’t think that I would have told Gordon I wasn’t coming,” he said. “The confidence has never left me. If I’m given chances I know I’ll score more than I will miss. It’s about getting into positions to score.” (ScotsmanL)
Richie Foran in new Inverness deal
Inverness Caledonian Thistle last night received a significant boost with the capture of captain Richie Foran on a new three-and-a-half year deal.
The Irishman put pen to paper on a deal through to May 2017, meaning the 33-year-old will almost certainly see out his playing career in Inverness.
With Foran’s current contract due to expire at the end of the season, Caley Thistle feared losing the Dubliner to Hibs after manager Terry Butcher moved from the Caledonian Stadium to Easter Road last week. (Scotsman)
Craig Levein turns down Inverness job interview
Craig Levein has declined the opportunity to speak to Inverness Caledonian Thistle over taking over at the Highlands club. Inverness are searching for a new manager following the departure of Terry Butcher, who signed a deal to replace Pat Fenlon at Hibernian earlier this month. Former Scotland manager Levein, who has been out of work since being sacked in November 2012, has been touted as a leading candidate at Inverness, but Levein has turned down Inverness’ overtures. Chris Sutton, Billy Reid, Gus McPherson, John Hughes and Csaba Laszlo have all expressed an interest in the role. (Press & Journal)
Neymar plays football like a girl - Peralta
Rangers defender Arnold Peralta has continued his feud with Brazilian forward Neymar as he said the striker played football like a girl. Honduran international Perlta was involved in a niggly battle against Neymar, whose Brazil side thumped Honduras 5-0. Peralta had accused Neymar of going down too easily, with Neymar responding by posting a picture of his leg injuries apparently sustained during the match on Twitter.
Peralta said: “Football is not for girls. It is a contact sport and I do not understand the whining of Neymar. The referee allowed all his vulgarity. He is a great player, but this type of situation does not contribute anything to the game.
“In Honduras, they teach us to play football like men.” (The Sun)
Jim Goodwin hits back at Derek Adams over ‘ghost’ jibe
St Mirren captain Jim Goodwin has criticised Derek Adams over comments made by the Ross County manager in the wake of a 2-1 defeat on Sunday, after which Adams accused the opposition’s skipper of being his overly physical approach. Adams also said Goodwin was a “ghost” because he escaped punishment from referee Willie Collum.
Goodwin expressed dismay at Adams’ remarks, saying: “I was disappointed when I read Derek’s comments. For him to suggest I’ve got some kind of immunity from referees is laughable. I pick up far too many bookings. For him to single me out is a bit silly. I’ve actually got a suspension coming up so that pretty much sums up that one.” (Daily Record)
SCOTLAND v NORWAY: PAST MEETINGS
SCOTLAND 3 NORWAY 2 25 October, 1978
A late comeback handed Jock Stein victory in his first match in charge and helped Scotland’s fragile confidence following their World Cup disappointment in Argentina. Scotland were heading for defeat until Kenny Dalglish grabbed his second goal with eight minutes left, and Archie Gemmill’s penalty won it.
SCOTLAND 1 NORWAY 1
15 November, 1989
Scotland won the point they needed to qualify for their fifth consecutive World Cup finals, in front of 64,000 supporters at Hampden Park. Ally McCoist lobbed home in the dying seconds of the first half and Scotland survived despite goalkeeper Jim Leighton fumbling Erland Johnsen’s long-range effort over the line in the final minute.
NORWAY 1 SCOTLAND 1
16 June, 1998
A goal by Craig Burley in Bordeaux kept alive Scotland’s hopes of reaching the second round of the World Cup in France. Havard Flo headed Norway ahead late in the first half after Gordon Durie had a strong penalty claim rejected. But Burley latched on to David Weir’s long ball to lob home a deserved leveller. It was the only point the Scots picked up in France and the defeat by Morocco a few days later meant another early exit.
SCOTLAND 0 NORWAY 0
11 October, 2008
Substitute Chris Iwelumo missed an open goal as Scotland blew the chance to put themselves in pole position for second place in their World Cup qualifying group. Norway also had their chances to score in a tense affair at Hampden. The aftermath of the game was dominated by Kris Boyd’s decision to quit international football after being snubbed in favour of Iwelumo. Boyd’s retirement didn’t last long.
NORWAY 4 SCOTLAND 0
12 August, 2009
George Burley’s side suffered a fatal blow to their hopes of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa the last time Scotland faced Norway. The four-goal thrashing came following Gary Caldwell’s dismissal after just 33 minutes. John Arne Riise lashed home from the resulting free kick, while Morten Gamst Pedersen struck twice either side of Erik Huseklepp’s third for the hosts in Oslo. The defeat left Scotland requiring two wins against Macedonia and the Netherlands to snatch a play-off spot, but it proved a bridge too far for the beleaguered squad.