Gordon Strachan hints that Leigh Griffiths may start against England, Fulham are interested in signing Rangers striker Martyn Waghorn, and Nir Bitton was said to have been sent home from Israel’s training camp over a “dirty look”.
Strachan drops Griffiths hint
Leigh Griffiths could be set to start for Scotland after national team boss Gordon Strachan hinted the striker could benefit from a change of system for tonight’s match against England.
The Celtic hitman has often been left on the sidelines looking in while Strachan has preferred taller, more physical attackers. However, Strachan conceded the previous gameplan might not have been the correct one, and was open to the possibility of changing things up at Wembley. (Daily Record)
Fulham join race for Waghorn
Fulham have joined Bristol City in the hunt for Martyn Waghorn as the striker looks certain to leave Rangers in the January window.
The striker met with manager Mark Warburton earlier this week and is expected to exit in the nearest window having been perturbed at not being offered an improved contract. (The Sun)
Collins: Barton talked too much
John Collins believes Joey Barton made the fatal mistake of letting his mouth do the talking instead of his feet after the player’s departure from Rangers was confirmed.
The ex-Celtic midfielder and assistant manager also feels boss Mark Warburton should hold up his hands and say it was a “bad signing”. (Radio Five Live)
• Derby County have become the latest English side willing to give Barton a reprieve south of the border. Manager Steve McClaren is said to be keen on the 34-year-old, who thanked Rangers fans following his Ibrox exit. (Daily Mail)
Bitton’s ‘dirty look’
Nir Bitton was sent home from Israel’s national team camp for allegedly giving boss Elisha Levy a “dirty look”.
The Celtic midfielder has been a mainstay of the Israel side over the past couple of years and was expecting to start against Albania. After learning that wasn’t going to be the case, he looked at Levy in a manner which angered the manager.
Israel insist Bitton was sent home for refusing to take part in training, an accusation Bitton’s camp strenuously denies. (Daily Record)
Lennon backs Brown’s return
Neil Lennon has hit back at Scotland outcast Charlie Adam – insisting Gordon Strachan would never have recalled Scott Brown if it meant risking squad unity.
Stoke City’s Adam has been outspoken regarding his continued omission from the international set-up this week, suggesting his “face doesn’t fit” having made his last appearance for Strachan in a friendly against Qatar 16 months ago. He also questioned the decision to bring former skipper Brown back into the fold for tonight’s clash with England.
However, Lennon, a former team-mate and manager of Brown as well as a player under Strachan, believes those criticisms are nonsense. (The Scotsman)
Scotland inspired by Andy Murray
Captain Darren Fletcher believes Andy Murray offers all the inspiration Scotland need for their game against England tonight.
Murray became the world No 1 tennis player last weekend and will be at Wembley with around 14,000 of the Tartan Army – probably more – for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier in which the visitors are massive underdogs after taking only four points from their first three Group F games. (The Scotsman)
Hearts won’t recall King
Billy King will not be recalled by Hearts in January despite the Edinburgh club wanting to add a winger to their squad.
The 22-year-old is on a season-long loan at Inverness Caledonian Thistle and will not be back at Tynecastle until May.
Hearts plan to re-assess him in the summer after a full season of regular football in the Highlands. Head coach Robbie Neilson told the Evening News recently that he plans to sign a winger during the January transfer window. King, however, will stay in Inverness. (Evening News)
Lennon impressed by Cummings
Neil Lennon is encouraged by Jason Cummings’ hunger to re-establish himself in the Hibs team, even though the beleaguered striker suffered the ignominy of being sent off in a Development League match on Tuesday.
The striker scored for the under-20 team against Kilmarnock before being sent off for swearing at a linesman in reaction to an offside call. Lennon was at the game at the Oriam and, although he is likely to sanction Cummings for this breach of discipline, he saw plenty of positive signs from the hitman prior to his dismissal and is pondering using him more prominently against Falkirk at Easter Road tomorrow. (Evening News)