Rumour Mill: James Tavernier contract talks | Levein unhappy with ‘bullying’ | Rangers boss hails Neil Lennon

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Rangers have opened contract talks with James Tavenier, Craig Levein has criticised St Johnstone’s “bullying” tactics, and Graeme Murty has revealed his admiration of Neil Lennon.

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James Tavernier has been in excellent form for Rangers this season. Picture: John Devlin

James Tavernier has been in excellent form for Rangers this season. Picture: John Devlin

Tavernier in contract talks

Rangers have opened contract discussions with defender James Tavernier. The right-back has been in excellent form this season for the Light Blues and manager Graeme Murty is keen to get him tied down to a longer deal. The 26-year-old will see his current contract expire in the summer of 2019. (Scottish Sun on Sunday)

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Levein unhappy with St Johnstone ‘bullying’

Craig Levein praised his Hearts side for standing up to St Johnstone’s roughhouse tactics as they muscled their way into the last eight of the William Hill Scottish Cup. A double from Kyle Lafferty and a terrific strike from on loan Manchester United full-back Demetri Mitchell saw the hosts comfortable through. But while Levein was delighted with his side’s battling qualities, he was unhappy with some of the methods employed by Tommy Wright’s team. (Various)

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Rangers boss inspired by Neil Lennon

Rangers boss Graeme Murty has revealed that he takes inspiration from the man his own supporters love to hate the most: Neil Lennon. The way in which the ex-Celtic captain built himself up having been made manager of the Parkhead club despite having no experience beforehand has given Murty the confidence to do something similar at Ibrox. (Scotland on Sunday)

Rodgers pays tribute to Liam Miller

Brendan Rodgers yesterday spoke of Liam Miller remaining “in the memory of everyone at Celtic” following the tragic passing of the 36-year-old midfielder, who came through the ranks at the club. Miller, who made 44 appearances for Celtic before moving to Manchester United in 2004 and then later to Hibernian, tragically died on Friday night of pancreatic cancer. (Scotland on Sunday)

- James Forrest has dedicated his first career hat-trick to the memory of Liam Miller. (Sunday Mail)

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GMS surprised by Dundee United decline

Gary Mackay-Steven, Dundee United and Aberdeen have had mixed fortunes in the three years since the winger marked his last game for the Tannadice side with a League Cup semi-final victory against Derek McInnes’ team. Given what’s happened since, anything other than a reversal of that result will be considered a major surprise when the clubs they used to call the “New Firm” meet in the Scottish Cup at Pittodrie this afternoon. (Scotland on Sunday)

Rodgers eyes home clean sheet

Brendan Rodgers has stressed the importance of keeping a clean sheet as the Celtic boss eyes a positive start to the club’s Europa League adventure. Zenit St Petersburg will be the visitors to Glasgow’s East End this coming Thursday as Rodgers’ side restart their continental campaign. Pointing to their tie with Rosenborg in the Champions League qualifiers, Rodgers believes it’s imperative that his team don’t concede in front of their own fans. (Scotland on Sunday)

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McCann blasts team for failure at both ends

Dundee manager Neil McCann bemoaned “criminal” finishing and “shocking” defending after his side bowed out of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a 2-0 home defeat by Motherwell. Goalkeeper Robert Parish should have done better with Craig Tanner’s 30th minute opener, before the goalkeeper saw team-mate Kevin Holt inadvertently head the ball past him for the away side’s second. (Various)

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