Alex McLeish: Critics won’t make me leave
Scotland boss Alex McLeish has moved to reaffirm his position following his team’s disastrous Nations League defeat versus Israel.
The Dark Blues’ scalp was only the Israeli squad’s third home victory in as many years and left Scotland’s hopes of a play-off place looking uncertain.
However, McLeish, who has now tasted five defeats in seven games as Scotland manager, says he won’t be put off by critics and is going nowhere.
He said: “You get kicked and say, ‘I’m going to show everybody’.
“I need to bounce back and players need to bounce back.
“I’ve never flinched from a challenge and I’m not going to start now. Now way.
“The more criticism I get the more determined I will be to turn it around.”
Hearts’ John Souttar vows to bounce back from Scotland nightmare
Hearts defender John Souttar was left dazed and distraught after his red card and Scotland’s defeat in Israel, but has vowed to bounce back.
Souttar, winning his third cap in Haifa on Thursday night, was sent off for a second bookable offence on 61 minutes during the 2-1 Nations League Group C1 defeat by the hosts.
“It’s was a horrible night for the team and for me personally,” said Souttar.
Ally McCoist slams Gazza snub
Ally McCoist has slammed the decision to withdraw former teammate Paul Gascoigne’s nomination from the Scottish football Hall of Fame, labelling it an ‘embarrassment’.
The Ibrox legend also claims the U-turn could have a negative effect on Gascoigne’s mental health and well-being.
Organisers picked the former England hero for inclusion in the Hall of Game gala, which is scheduled to take place in Glasgow next week.
However, with rumours rife that some board members were unhappy on account of Gazza’s chequered personal life, a last-minute decision was made to axe him from the list of nominees. The move has sparked an outcry among fans of the legendary English midfielder.
McCoist fumed: “How can they release something saying Paul Gascoigne has been inducted into the SFA Hall of Fame? Great, Paul gets a boost... then with nine days to go it gets withdrawn. It’s an embarrassment”.
McCormack hails strike partner Usain Bolt
Ross McCormack says it’s a privilege to play with the fastest man on Earth.
The former Scotland forward paired up with the Olympic champion as the Jamaican claimed his first two goals since swapping athletics for football.
Bolt and McCormack played up front for Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners as they swept aside Macarthur South West United 4-0.
Ex-Rangers youth star McCormack, who is currently on loan from Aston Villa, chipped in with a goal and an assist for Usain Bolt, who grabbed two goals overall.
McCormack said: “The best thing about Usain Bolt is he’s so humble. He’s fitted in well with the lads.
“From my first day even to where he is now, the transformation is huge.”
Newcastle Utd weighing up offer for Brendan Rodgers
Newcastle United are considering putting in a bid for Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers to replace Rafael Benitez at St James’ Park.
Benitez’s team have yet to notch a win this season, with the Spaniard coming increasingly under fire.
And Magpies owner Mike Ashley may see Brendan Rodgers, who may feel he has achieved all he can at Celtic, as the perfect man to stop the rot.
Former Celtic and Hearts forward Tony Watt maintains he still wants to make his mark on the international stage.
The St Johnstone striker still has ambitions to fulfil at international level and is keen to seize any opportunity to return to the national team.
“I still want to play at as high a level as possible and that includes Scotland. Hopefully I can play as many games as possible now and get myself right back in there.”