Questions raised over Scott Brown’s fitness; Derek Riordan training at Hibs, Scott Allan happy to shrug off Rangers teasing and the latest from the Scotland camp
Questions raised over Brown’s fitness
CELTIC captain Scott Brown is said to be struggling for full fitness, with reports suggesting that the 30-year-old is still not fully recovered from a hamstring injury picked up against Qarabag.
He returned to the Celtic squad after two games out, and played in both Scotland matches over the weekend.
But it has been suggested that Brown is not 100 per cent fit, and faces a race against time to be fit for the Ajax match. (Evening Times)
Allan happy to shrug off Rangers teasing
SCOTT Allan says he has been subject to as much banter as belligerence since signing for Celtic.
Hibs rejected several bids from Rangers for the boyhood Gers fan during the transfer window and the saga ended with an unexpected twist when he signed a four-year deal with the Hoops for a reported fee of around £275,000.
But Allan said: “There has been a lot of humour to be fair, with friends of friends and all that but I knew it was coming so it has not affected me at all to be honest. It is just good to be at a big club.” (The Scotsman)
Riordan training with Hibs
DEREK Riordan is back training with Hibs - but talk of winning a deal at Easter Road is reportedly wide of the mark.
The 32-year-old is using the East Mains facilities to keep himself fit with suggestions that Riordan could earn himself a short-term deal if he impresses.
However, the former fans’ favourite has the offer of a trial at Shrewsbury next week but did say: “Who knows what could come from me training with the squad? The way I see it, it’s a chance to impress and we’ll take it from there. But even if it leads to nothing I’ll still always be grateful.”
Riordan, who rejoined Hibs after moving to Celtic, has also had spells with Shaanxi Chan-Ba in China (now known as Guizhou Renhe), St Johnstone, Bristol Rovers, Alloa and most recently East Fife. (The Sun)
Hearts snap up Swanson
HEARTS yesterday signed midfielder Danny Swanson after a successful trial period.
The 28-year-old goes straight into the squad for Friday night’s trip to Inverness after agreeing a nine-month deal following his Coventry exit. (Edinburgh Evening News)
Kilbane accuses Scotland of arrogance
FORMER Ireland star Kevin Kilbane has accused Scotland of arrogance, saying the Scots assumed they had done all the hard work by grabbing a draw with the Irish in Dublin in June.
Kilbane added: I thought they were too confident going into the Georgia game. I felt it after the game in June. They thought they had almost qualified by getting the point against us.
“Now I am confident Ireland will get third.” (The Sun)
Hemmings talks up Scottish football
DUNDEE striker Kane Hemmings reckons the Scottish Premiership is on the same level as the English Football League.
Hemmings, a former Rangers striker who has had spells at Cowdenbeath and Barnsley believes a lot of his Dens Park team-mates wouldn’t look out of place in the English Championship.
“I don’t think there’s too much difference between the Scottish division and the English Football League,” Hemmings said.
“There’s certainly not as much of a difference as the people down south would have you believe.” (Evening Telegraph)
News in brief
• Dundee United have slashed ticket prices for this weekend’s match with Kilmarnock in a bid to encourage a large crowd to Tannadice to pay tribute to the late Ralph Milne
• Celtic legend Pat Bonner reckons it would be a big ask for Jozo Simunovic to be parachuted into the Hoops rearguard ahead of the Aberdeen clash
• Darnell Fisher says he joined St Johnstone to get regular first-team football, with Ronny Deila telling the 21-year-old to gain experience in Perth
• Austria manager Marcel Koller celebrated qualification for Euro 2016 - by wearing a beret to a press conference and eating a baguette while answering questions
• It has been revealed that former Arsenal striker Ian Wright was once caught rollerskating through Highbury by manager Arsene Wenger
• USA boss Jurgen Klinsmann has been criticised after bringing on amateur player Jordan Morris in a match against Brazil