Celtic legend in Rangers dig, criticism of Ibrox star 'incredibly harsh' says Gerrard, key Hibs exit, Aberdeen boss back star to handle transfer speculation - Scottish Premiership Rumour Mill

It wasn’t a good night for the Scottish coefficient in Europe on Thursday. With three teams having already exited, it was once again down to Celtic and Rangers to come up with the goods.
Rangers' John Lundstram came in for criticism. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)Rangers' John Lundstram came in for criticism. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Rangers' John Lundstram came in for criticism. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

However, both sides fell to defeats with the Parkhead side losing 4-3 in an engrossing encounter against Real Betis, while the Scottish champions lost 2-0 at home to Lyon.

Attention turns back to domestic business with plenty of action over the next couple of days, including the Dundee derby on Sunday.

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Ahead of that, here is all of Friday’s Scottish football news.

Hibs sporting chief exits

Graeme Mathie has departed Hibs after being axed as the club’s sporting director. According to the Evening News, the 38-year-old “ultimately paid the price after Hibs endured a frustrating end to the summer transfer window”. Jack Ross was left frustrated with the lack of arrival in the forward area with a deadline day move for Jamie McGrath having broken down. Mathie had been at the club a number of years, playing a key role in the clubs success on and off the field.

Celtic legend’s Rangers dig

Chris Sutton had a dig at Rangers after their 2-0 Europa League loss to Lyon at Ibrox. The former Celtic striker, as well as Neil Lennon, were denied access to work at Ibrox as part of BT Sport's coverage due to security concerns. The Scottish champions stated they had “complied with all UEFA contractual obligations to facilitate BT as host broadcaster”. Sutton clearly took some satisfaction in the result, tweeting “didn't miss much”.

Kent injury concern

Rangers face an anxious wait to find out the extent of Ryan Kent’s injury with the player set for a scan. The winger was replaced during the club's 2-0 loss to Lyon with a hamstring complaint. Steven Gerrard admitted he was unsure how long Kent would be out for.

“Normally when you come off the pitch in those situations, there is a problem," he said. “But until he has a scan, your guess is as good as mine.”

Gorgie title challenge

Hearts can challenge Celtic and Rangers, according to the club’s assistant coach Lee McCulloch. It is an ambition for the Tynecastle club to split or even better the Old Firm.

He said: "Our message to the players is 'can they get better everyday' and for us is can we get better every week.”

Gerrard defends Lundstram

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has defended John Lundstram after the defeat to Lyon. The midfielder came in for criticism from the crowd during the match but his manager felt his “performance, outside one or two little minor things, was really strong”. The player arrived from Sheffield United during the summer but hasn’t quite hit the heights expected.

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"It would be incredibly harsh to point fingers John’s way," Gerrard said. “Because I think the majority of the things he did tonight were really positive from my point of view.”

Glass on Ramay speculation

Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass has backed Calvin Ramsay to not allow any transfer speculation to faze him. The teenage right-back has been linked with Premier League side Everton after a fantastic start to his Dons career.

Glass said: “Calvin is so level headed and is taking everything in his stride.”

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