Rumour Mill: Griffiths Celtic boost | Gerrard slams Kilmarnock | Rangers star's warning to team-mates | Heckingbottom eyes Hearts | Scotland defensive blow

Neil Lennon is hopeful Leigh Griffiths will return for Celtic this season, Steven Gerrard hit out at Kilmarnock and the referee and Connor Goldson sent team-mates a stark warning.

Leigh Griffiths could return soon for Celtic. Picture: SNS

Griffiths to return

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has revealed that Leigh Griffiths will likely be back before the end of the season. He spoke to the striker earlier in the week and reckons he will soon be able to call on him, Griffiths last played in December before taking time out from football for personal reasons. Lennon did admit, however, that he still needs work before he is fully up to speed. (Daily Record)

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Gerrard calls for more protection

Leigh Griffiths could return soon for Celtic. Picture: SNS

Steven Gerrard said referees were failing to “protect” his players after claiming official Greg Aitken did not deal with strong-arm tactics from Kilmarnock in the 1-1 draw at Ibrox. Four Kilmarnock players were booked yesterday but Gerrard claimed the tally did not reflect the illegal means by which Steve Clarke’s men sought to nullify their opponents. The Killie boss, however, felt it was Connor Goldson who should have seen red for a crude challenge. (The Scotsman)

Heckingbottom sets sights on Hearts

Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom says Hibs are targeting capital rivals Hearts as well as a top-six spot after a crucial 2-0 win over Motherwell. First-half goals from Marc McNulty and David Gray secured all three points for Hibs at Easter Road and moved sixth-placed Hibs five points clear of the Steelmen and just two points behind Hearts with three games remaining before the split. (Edinburgh Evening News)

Hearts boss bemoans attacking spark

Hearts head coach Craig Levein bemoaned his side’s lack of cutting edge in the final third as Aaron McGowan’s first-half strike earned Hamilton Accies all three points. The Jambos struggled to create much in the way of goalscoring opportunities and paid the price in what proved to be a disappointing afternoon at the Hope CBD Stadium. (Edinburgh Evening News)

Fletcher "devastated" to miss Scotland games

Steven Fletcher took an injection for Sheffield Wednesday and is "devastated" to miss Scotland according to club and international team-mate Barry Bannan. The striker was left out the Scotland squad for the Euro 2020 qualifying double-header in Kazakhstan and San Marino because he was 'managing an injury'. (The Scotsman)

Goldson fires Rangers warning

Connor Goldson has warned Rangers team-mates to step up to the plate and handle the pressure or move on. The defender was talking about the setbacks the club have had this season on the field. He said: “We’ve all signed here wanting to be a part of this club and a part of the success it brings. So it’s up to us and the coaches to bring that here. If you’re not up for that or can’t handle the criticism, then it’s not for you". (Daily Record)

Scotland defensive blow

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes reckons defender Scott McKenna is a huge doubt for Scotland's Euro 2020 qualifiers opener in Kazakhstan. The 22-year-old played with his thigh strapped against Livingston. The Dons boss says he should be fit to face San Marino but Thursday's match will come to quick. (Scottish Sun)