STEVE Clark and Malky Mackay join running for Celtic post; Peter Lawwell not at fault for Celtic woes, says Ronny Deila; Mark Warburton insists Rangers won’t switch off before Scottish Cup final, plus the rest of Scottish football’s latest news and gossip
Don’t blame Peter Lawwell for Celtic woes, says Ronny Deila
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell doesn’t deserve the flak of the fans for the team’s stalled progress, departing manager Ronny Deila has argued. The Norwegian announced he was quitting Celtic at the end of the season earlier last week, and has pointed to the chief exec’s overall record over the last 13 years.
“Consistency is unbelieavably important and he’s been successfull all the time. We’ve had trouble getting into the Champions League for the last two years but, again, that can turn around. It’s very difficult when everything is a failure when you lose and everything is okay when you win. It’s not normal.” (Sunday Mail)
Steve Clark, Malky Mackay in running for Celtic hotseat
Steve Clark and Malky Mackay have emerged as contenders for the hotseat soon to be vacated by Ronny Deila at Parkhead. Paddy Power have shortened odds on Clark from 66/1 to 3/1, and William Hill have suspended betting on the Scot. Former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes remains favourite for the job – and Neil Lennon has made clear his availability – but Mackay has also put himself forward for the role.
He said: “The next five-year period is arguably one of the most critical in Celtic’s history. The last few managers have delivered and have allowed the chance for a record 10 titles in a row to happen.” He added: “I’d love to sit down with them and show them my work in terms of recruitment, training structure, staffing.” (Sunday Mail, Sunday Post)
Lee Wallace now wants to win the big prizes
Lee Wallace, the Rangers captain, has said he is looking forward to his side picking up major trophies again and exceeding expectations as he prepares to face Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final next month.
“People said this style can’t work in the top flight, Wallace and [James] Tavernier can’t maraud forward against such opposition. We responded and in every defeat we’ve always responded well.
“It will certainly be an enjoyable one if we can exceed expectations because back at the St Johnstone game I don’t think many would have seen us go on to lift the Scottish Cup. Certainly the League and the Petrofac, but not the Scottish Cup. So it would be nice to answer those questions again.”
Scandinavian managers have a tougher time of it, says Ronny Deila
Ronny Deila has put forward a theory on why Scandinavians such as himself might struggle more than other European managers.
“It’s a very different culture and it’s also a new market of players,” he said. “You don’t know all the agents. In Scandinavia we know all the players, so we have full control, but in Scotland or England you don’t know the environment that well and it’s new. It’s a new language.” He added: “The managers that succeed down in England are Portuguese, French. Why? Because they bring Spanish or Portuguese or French players and they are the best players and they come in here and they have the quality. You can’t bring Scandinavians because they are not good enough, 99 per cent of them. Dick Advocaat came here and had half the Dutch team at Rangers. It’s easier, you know?” (Scotland on Sunday)
‘Fitness of Celtic players not Ronny Deila’s fault’
In the wake of discussion about the lack of fitness of Celtic’s players – a notion dismissed by Leigh Griffiths as b******* – Celtic’s Callum McGregor has insisted that individuals, not Deila, are responsible for their physical condition.
“As a professional, you look after yourself,” he said. “People can tell you what to do and tell you how you feel but you know yourself what you need and that’s down to the professionalism of the guys as much as the people in charge. Fitness is a personal issue you have to address yourself so I don’t think any blame can lie with the manager for that. (Scotland on Sunday)
Rangers won’t switch off before cup final, says Mark Warburton
Rangers manager Mark Warburton has pledged his players will not be allowed to zone out before they have to zone in on the Scottish Cup final.
“I think it is important to finish on a high. Obviously Hibs will say the same thing. We will prepare well. There is European football at stake too. That is a big plus for the club so we will be all out to win the trophy, that’s for sure.”
“We’ll approach the game just as we’ve approached every game this season. If you can’t motivate yourself for a cup final then you’re not worth your salt as a footballer,” said defender Danny Wilson, answering the same question. (Scotland on Sunday)