Rumour Mill: Strachan ‘sorry’ for Johnson remarks | Celtic in dark over interest in star | Morelos scoops POTY treble

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Monday’s Scottish football news and gossip.

READ MORE - Gordon Strachan ‘won’t appear’ on Sky Sports again after Adam Johnson remarks

Former Scotland boss Gordon Strachan. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Former Scotland boss Gordon Strachan. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Gordon Strachan ‘sorry’ for Johnson comments

Former Scotland and Celtic boss Gordon Strachan has apologised for the comments made which appeared to link racism with verbal abuse of a convicted sex offender. “Having reviewed the particular segment in light of the reaction, I fully acknowledge that the imprecise use of language in my initial response has left open a perception that should easily have been avoided. For that I sincerely apologise.” (Scottish Sun)

Celtic in dark over German interest in star

Celtic are unaware of any move from Hertha Berlin to sign defender Dedryck Boyata, even though reports in Germany state the Bundesliga side are on the verge of tying up a deal for the defender on an expiring contract. Caretaker manager Neil Lennon remains hopeful of convincing the player to stay at Parkhead.

Cosgrove has Celtic in his sights

Sam Cosgrove has exceeded all expectations this season, but rather than resting on his laurels, the Aberdeen striker has Celtic firmly in his sights. Cosgrove celebrated reaching the 20-goal mark at the weekend, providing the perfect platform going into Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final encounter with Neil Lennon’s treble chasers at Hampden. (The Scotsman)

Morelos scoops Rangers POTY awards

Alfredo Morelos walked away with a hat-trick of awards from Rangers Player of the Year bash. The Colombian won Top Goalscorer, Player’s Player of the Year and Player of the Year as the Ibrox side held their annual ceremony agt Glasgow’s Doubletree by Hilton Hotel on Sunday night. (Daily Record)

Ikpeazu defends Levein

Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu has leapt to the defence of manager Craig Levein after Sunday’s Edinburgh derby loss to Hibs. Members of the home support were calling for Levein’s sacking after the 2-1 defeat, but Ikpeazu insists he’s doing a good job and that the dressing room is fully behind him. (Daily Record)

Hearts can’t dwell on derby loss

Craig Levein admits Hearts cannot allow negative thoughts to impact their Scottish Cup semi-final preparations despite the derby defeat by Hibs. Although frustrated by Saturday’s 2-1 loss, the Tynecastle Park manager insisted the result must be immediately consigned to history to focus on Inverness Caledonian Thistle this weekend. (Evening News)

Hearts denied ‘stonewall penalty’

Hearts centre-back John Souttar believes he was denied a “stonewall penalty” during the first half of his side’s defeat to Hibs. “I’ve touched the ball and he [Stephane Omeonga] has volleyed. It’s difficult for referees, I understand that, but if we get that then it changes the game again in our favour. It’s small margins, isn’t it? Hibs got them.” (Evening News)

Hanlon hails ‘massive turnaround’ under Heckingbottom

Paul Hanlon claims Hibs have defied the odds by keeping themselves in the chase for Europe after engineering a “massive turnaround” in their season. Eleven points adrift of Capital rivals Hearts when new boss Paul Heckingbottom took over less than two months ago. (Evening News)