Rumour Mill: Celtic treble | Derek McInnes | League Cup | 16-team Premiership

Gary Mackay-Steven insists there will be no treble talk at Celtic. Picture: Gordon Fraser
Gary Mackay-Steven insists there will be no treble talk at Celtic. Picture: Gordon Fraser
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Celtic insist there will be no treble talk in the dressing room; Dons confirm Derek McInnes is going nowhere; League Cup set for revamp and Rangers boss told ‘no chance’ of 16-team Premiership

No treble talk, insists Mackay-Steven

GARY Mackay-Steven has insisted that there will be no talk of the treble in the Celtic dressing room this year.

Celtic won the league and league cup double last year but exited the Scottish Cup at the hands of Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

And Mackay-Steven has said it is ‘too premature to talk about a treble’. (Evening Times)

Dons slam ‘rumour-mongers’ over McInnes claims

ABERDEEN have accused rumour-mongers of trying to unsettle the club as they insisted Derek McInnes was going nowhere.

The manager of the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders shot to the top of the league sponsors’ betting on the next top-flight boss to leave.

But the Dons said in a statement: “The club can confirm Derek McInnes remains the manager of Aberdeen Football Club.

“The various rumours which have been circulating this afternoon on social media are completely without substance or foundation and we would question the motivation of those individuals looking to unsettle the club.” (The Scotsman)

League Cup set for revamp

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster has confirmed that next season will start in July with a group phase of the League Cup due to a clamour from clubs for summer football.

Doncaster was not able to offer an explanation of how the revived sections will work as the plan is still being worked upon.

However, it will involve 38 of the 42 league clubs – the four European participants will be exempt until the last 16. (The Scotsman)

Warburton told: No 16-team top flight

RANGERS boss Mark Warburton has been told there is no chance of a 16-team top flight.

Warburton had said that Scotland’s top flight teams were suffering from overkill from playing each other four times a year.

But Neil Doncaster claimed: “I don’t see it. I don’t see sufficient demand from clubs or our other stakeholders for that.

“If you look at other countries with the population similar to Scotland, I don’t know of any who have larger leagues. There are so many problems with the format and meaningless mid-table games.” (Evening Times)

Keatings not abandoning title hopes

JAMES Keatings insists Hibernian can still catch Rangers in the chase for the Championship.

Mark Warburton’s side have made a blistering start to the season with nine straight victories and hold an 11-point lead over their Edinburgh rivals

However, Hibs can close that gap by winning their game in hand next Tuesday at Falkirk, assuming they can take care of Dumbarton at Easter Road on Saturday.

Hibs striker Keatings, who is fit again after injury troubles, said: “Rangers can definitely be caught. In this league, teams can drop points anywhere – there are plenty tough away games. Rangers haven’t won the league yet. We showed at Ibrox we can cause them problems.” (The Scotsman)

Mixu takes reins at Tannadice

DUNDEE United chairman Stephen Thompson said Mixu Paatelainen was the “first person we spoke to, and also the last”, as the Finn was appointed head coach of Dundee United yesterday.

The 48 year-old’s first match is on Sunday, when Hearts are the visitors to bottom-of-the-table United. Thompson revealed that Paatelainen’s desire to return to the club where he spent five years as a player early in his career “was clear from the first minute we spoke”.

Although Paatelainen admitted he had expected to continue his managerial career “in England or Europe”, he was delighted to be made aware of United’s initial interest.

He is officially described as head coach, with Thompson explaining that “there are three of us here now who run things day-to-day – a head coach, a general manager in David Southern, and myself overseeing everything. It’s just a modern way of doing things but it’s no real change.” (The Scotsman)