Neil Lennon reveals his views on Rangers; Souness ‘harbours regrets’ about not returning to Ibrox and Logan enjoys ‘perfect day’
Rangers ‘are same club’ says Lennon
FORMER Celtic boss Neil Lennon has welcomed the return of ‘parity’ in Scottish football ahead of today’s Scottish Cup semi final as he revealed he views Rangers as the same club.
Offering views that may be at odds with some Celtic fans’ views, Lennon said: “Some people may see it as [Rangers being a new club], but then you are getting to the extremes of being petty about the whole thing.
“I wouldn’t see it like that, put it that way. I think players and fans would see it the same way.
“I just think the parity of Scottish football is coming back now, which is important going forward.” (Scottish Sun)
Souness regrets not returning to Rangers
EX-Rangers boss Graeme Souness has admitted that he harbours regrets that he never got a second chance as Rangers boss.
Revealing that he had been set to look after the football side of things as part of Brian Kennedy’s planned takeover bid in 2014, Souness said: “It’s a regret that myself and Brian didn’t come in and shape the club the way we’d envisaged.
“Was I disappointed? Of course I was. But you don’t always get what you want in life.
“I wouldn’t come back now. I don’t see what value I’d bring now. I’m now a visitor to Scottish football rather than a participant. I think the possibility of me doing any job back here is gone now. I’ll enjoy it from a distance.” (Scotland on Sunday)
Logan overwhelmed by ‘dream debut’
HIBERNIAN ‘keeper Conrad Logan said he had enjoyed a ‘perfect day’ as his heroics helped Hibs to reach the Scottish Cup final.
The Irishman, playing his first game since December 2014, repelled the Dundee United attack and saved two vital penalties in the shootout to earn cult hero status down Easter Road way.
And the ex-Leicester City goalie said: “You make yourself big and you get lucky some days, although I like to think you make your own luck in this game.
“Everyone is just buzzing. There is no better way to win a cup game than in a shoot-out. I’m just delighted to be a part of it.” (BBC Sport)
Cummings ‘thought about Panenka in shootout’
JASON Cummings has revealed he thought about attempting another Panenka penalty in the shootout - but says he realised that if he missed, he’d ‘never be able to walk down Leith ever again’.
The ebullient striker, who made amends for his first half stupidity by netting the winning penalty in the shootout, said: “After what happened, I couldn’t believe that I was going to get the chance to win it, to get the chance to go from zero to hero. I was hoping to get the winning penalty and I asked to be put on one of them, either fourth or fifth.
“The player I am, I just like to try things and be a bit different.” (Scotland on Sunday)
Mixu rues ‘missed chances’
DUNDEE United boss Mixu Paatelainen felt his team didn’t deserve to lose the semi final to Hibs, adding: “I’m totally gutted for the boys because for the vast majority of the match we controlled the game.
“We were the better team, we passed the ball and created great goal scoring opportunities so in the end to lose it after penalties is really disappointing.”
“But if you don’t score then you can’t win and that’s been the story of the season. If you’re one-on-one with the goalkeeper three times you’d like to think at least one goes in the net, but all credit to their goalkeeper that they didn’t.” (Sky Sports)
Stokes ‘shuts down’ radio presenter
ANTHONY Stokes has told a Scots radio presenter who claimed the Irish striker and on-loan Hoops team-mate Liam Henderson would ‘be Rangers fans’ for the Old Firm semi final clash that he is ‘kidding himself on’.
Gerry McCulloch, who hosts Clyde 1 Superscoreboard, tweeted: “Stokes & Henderson big Rangers fans tomorrow.”
Stokes replied: “your kidding yourself on if you think Id like to see Rangers win any game never mind against Celtic [sic].”
Stokes and Henderson would be ineligible for Hibs if they were to face Celtic in the final, but could line up against Rangers if the Ibrox side reach the final. (Various)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Kenny Dalglish has claimed English clubs are not interested in any Celtic players - except, possibly, Kieran Tierney, recently linked with Liverpool
• Trevor Sinclair has backed Celtic to win today’s Old Firm clash
• Barry Ferguson reckons Nicky Law could start in place of the injured Harry Forrester for Rangers
• Dundee United midfielder John Rankin has accused Jason Cummings of being ‘disrespectful’ after he tried an audacious Panenka - but then saluted him for having the balls to win the game