Brendan Rodgers admits he wanted to sign current Rangers midfielder Graham Dorrans for Swansea; John Brown warns Pedro Caixinha to buck up his ideas for Old Firm clash and Chris Sutton brands Craig Gordon ‘thin-skinned’
Rodgers wanted Dorrans
Brendan Rodgers has revealed he tried to sign current Rangers midfielder Graham Dorrans while he was manager at Swansea City.
The Celtic boss, speaking about the Rangers signings that have caught his eye, highlighted Ryan Jack, Bruno Alves, Alfredo Morelos and Dorrans as the stand-outs, adding: “Dorrans was a player I wanted to bring to Swansea at the time, and he is a very good footballer. He is a player I have always liked.” (Various)
Brown in warning to Caixinha
John Brown fears Rangers could suffer another Old Firm drubbing - unless Pedro Caixinha changes his tactics to try to deal with Celtic’s considerable threat.
The nine-in-a-row legend believes the Hoops could enjoy another unbeaten season, but reckons Caixinha should look to Graeme Murty for advice on how to approach the game.
Brown said: “You have to be cute with your tactics and set-up. If you try to play free-flowing football, Celtic will beat you. Graeme Murty got it right when he got a draw. He knew the strengths of the Celtic team and he cancelled them out and Rangers could have nicked it at the death, too.” (The Scotsman)
Sutton brands Gordon ‘thin-skinned’
Chris Sutton has branded Craig Gordon a little bit ‘thin-skinned’ after the Celtic goalkeeper accused the BT Sport pundit of launching a ‘campaign’ against him.
Sutton dismissed the notion that any of his analysis was personal during BT Sport’s coverage of the Dundee-Celtic match last night, adding: “Craig’s entitled to his opinion. It’s not personal. There is no campaign.
“ICraig has made high profile errors. The three league goals Celtic have lost this season he’s been at fault for. All this personal stuff, it’s absolute nonsense. He’s just a little thin-skinned.” (The Scotsman)
Spin doctor reveals Old Firm ‘peace plan’
Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell has admitted he once tried to set up an Old Firm friendly with teams wearing their rivals’ shirts - in a bid to boost the Northern Ireland peace process.
Campbell said on talkSPORT: “During the peace process I thought of the idea of arranging a friendly between Rangers and Celtic and having them wearing each others’ shirt.
“That idea lasted about five seconds!” (Scottish Sun)
Hoops hopeful Jozo will make Old Firm clas
Brendan Rodgers was delighted to see Dedryck Boyata make his first appearance of the season following his recovery from a knee injury against Dundee last night.
Rodgers is also hopeful defender Jozo Simunovic and striker Moussa Dembele will both be fit to face Rangers after missing out on the Betfred Cup win.
“We will see how Jozo is,” said Rodgers. “He had a bit of swelling on his knee. The medics tell me he should be fine but we didn’t want to aggravate it any more. Moussa will be back on Saturday.” (The Scotsman)
Lennon hails ‘magic’ Stokes
Hibs boss Neil Lennon feels he can’t consider leaving Anthony Stokes out of his team – because the striker is always likely to come up with a touch of magic.
Stokes took his goals tally for the season to seven, scoring from the penalty spot for the second game in succession as he netted the winner against Livingston to send the Capital side into the semi-finals of the Betfred Cup.
Lennon said after the match: “He didn’t have his best game, but you cannot leave him out as he’s always likely to create something and did great for our second goal.” (Evening News)
Martin to get second chance at Hearts
Malaury Martin will be given a chance at Hearts despite finding himself out of the picture in recent weeks.
The French midfielder has struggled to make an impact at Tynecastle since arriving on a three-and-half-year contract in January but maanger Craig Levein said: “While we’re scrapping for points, there are other players who are more important to us. But once we get on track, then I think he’ll come into his own. I’ve had a couple of chats with him and he’s in a decent place. He’s working hard in training and he’ll get an opportunity, for sure.” (Evening News)
McGinn escapes Betfred ban
Hibs midfielder John McGinn has escaped a Betfred Cup semi-final ban despite picking up his second booking of the competition on Tuesday night.
McGinn was shown the yellow card for a late foul to add to the caution he incurred during the group stage clash with Ross County but under cup rules, the booking was wiped upon completion of that phase of the tournament.
And his latest misdemeanor will also count for little, the booking expunged before the semi-final, meaning that should McGinn be booked he’d still be free to play in the final if Hibs were to make it. (Evening News)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Edinburgh City have signed former Hamilton defender Jesus Garcia Tena on a short-term deal until January