Efe Ambrose cops blame for Celtic throwing away two-goal lead against Fenerbahce; Kris Commons defends Nigerian stopper and Mark Warburton ‘certain’ the Old Firm will compete in England
Deila slams Ambrose for error
RONNY DEILA was left to rue a trademark lapse in concentration by Efe Ambrose as Celtic dropped two Europa League points at home to Fenerbahce.
A nightmare error by Ambrose let Brazilian striker Fernandao in to pull one back for the Turkish side just before half-time after the Hoops had taken a two-goal lead. The defender looked culpable again when Fernandao eluded him to head in Fenerbahce’s equaliser three minutes into the second half.
Deila said: “Efe... plays very good for 88 minutes but sometimes makes some easy mistakes. As a defender, you have to concentrate for 90 minutes.” (The Scotsman)
Commons defends Ambrose
KRIS Commons has accepted that a draw was a fair result at Parkhead last night and although he lamented the ‘cheap’ goals Celtic lost, he refused to point the finger at Efe Ambrose.
Commons said: “Efe knows what happened. He’s bitterly disappointed but it won’t affect his confidence. He’s a confident boy.
“Efe’s mistake led to a goal but he played really well. He won his headers, he came out with the ball and he was good in possession.” (The Sun)
Warburton eyes EPL move for Old Firm
RANGERS manager Mark Warburton has backed the assertion of Celtic’s largest shareholder Dermot Desmond that Glasgow’s two big clubs will eventually compete regularly in a pan-British footballing set-up.
Irish businessman Desmond said that changes in technology that could collapse that broadcast rights market make the move south to a top league possible for Celtic and Rangers within the next decade.
Warburton maintained that “one day” such a move will happen even as he conceded “there is a lot of things to be worked out beforehand”.
“I think the people will want it because of the draw of Celtic and Rangers and their supports,” the Englishman said. “All the obvious things. But I think there are many, many avenues that have to be worked out first.” (The Scotsman)
Motherwell mourn loss of Joe Wark
MOTHERWELL legend Joe Wark passed away yesterday at the age of 67.
The former Fir Park full-back, who had been battling dementia, spent 17 years with the Steelmen, making 539 appearances.
A club statement read: “Motherwell FC is today devastated to learn of the passing of one of its greatest sons after a long battle with illness. Everyone at the club would like to express our deepest condolences to Joe’s family.”
Fans have started a petition to get the ground’s east stand named after Wark. (The Sun)
Stubbs bemused by Tannadice talk
ALAN Stubbs has assured Hibs fans that he has had no contact with anyone at Dundee United and says he has no idea where stories linking him with a switch to Tannadice originated.
“I have a job to do here at Hibs and nothing has changed,” he said. “The one thing is that the story has not come from anything close to me. I can’t stop things from going out there as that is the nature of football.
“If someone wants to link me with a job I can’t control that. I have a job to do at Hibs and I am very happy. There has been no contact from Dundee United to me or my representatives. If there was I would tell people.” (The Scotsman)
Neilson escapes Collum criticism ban
HEARTS head coach Robbie Neilson has been handed a two-game ban by the SFA Disciplinary panel but, in an apparent compromise, the punishment has been suspended for a year.
The Championship-winning boss had criticised referee Willie Collum’s decision to send off defender Callum Paterson in a match against Hamilton in August. His outburst appeared to have been vindicated when the capital club won an appeal and Paterson’s punishment was reduced to a yellow card.
But the SFA hierarchy took exception to his revelation that he had prepared his men for the likelihood of a dismissal once he discovered who the referee would be and in serving the notice of complaint they said Neilson had “criticised the performance of the match officials in such a way as to indicate bias or incompetence on their part”. (The Scotsman)
Hughes ‘flattered’ by United link
JOHN Hughes last night urged Inverness Caley Thistle to hand him a new contract which would rule him out of the running for the Dundee United job.
The Highland club’s manager admits he is “flattered” by reported interest in making him Jackie McNamara’s successor.
Hughes said: “My contract is up at the end of the year, so eventually we’re going to have to sit down and talk. It’s flattering to be linked to that and any other job, but my focus is fully on Inverness.” (The Scotsman)
Bowman blames players for McNamara exit
DUNDEE United caretaker boss Dave Bowman senses the players feel responsible for Jackie McNamara’s sacking. But he has backed them to stay strong for tomorrow’s Ladbrokes Premiership encounter against Partick Thistle.
“The manager never lost the dressing room at all. I’ve seen it before, when managers have lost the dressing room, but Jackie for one definitely never did that. The players were upset with what happened,” revealed Bowman.
“Ultimately it’s the players who have cost the manager his job – if they aren’t performing then it’s the manager that pays the price for it.” (Various)