Rumour Mill: Celtic | Leigh Griffiths | Hibs

Ronny Deila is targeting a first-term treble at Celtic. Picture: John Devlin
Ronny Deila is targeting a first-term treble at Celtic. Picture: John Devlin
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Ronny Deila targets first-term trophy treble as he tells Hibs Leigh Griffiths won’t be rejoining the Easter Road side, plus Alan Stubbs hopeful of a strong referee for Hibernian’s next match with Rangers

Deila eyes treble

DESPITE failing to win three matches in a row, Celtic boss Ronny Deila is targeting a first-season treble for the Hoops.

Won just ten times since the introduction of the League Cup 68 years ago, the Treble has only been won by Martin O’Neill and Jock Stein at Celtic - with Alex McLeish, Dick Advocaat, Walter Smith, Bill Struth, Scot Symon and Jock Wallace on two occasions managing it for Rangers.

Deila said in the aftermath of Celtic’s 3-0 League Cup win over Hearts: “The goal is the treble. In the cups, everything can happen, but we have to set high demands and high goals. We will see in the end how that goes.”

Griffiths to stay at Celtic despite Hibs interest

RONNY Deila has issued a hands-off warning to Hibs, who continue to circle in the hope of snatching Leigh Griffiths on an emergency loan deal.

‘Sparky’ has found game time hard to come by since the arrival of Deila but the Norwegian has insisted the former Wolves hitman remains in his plans.

“Leigh Griffiths is our player, so there is no decision to make,” said Deila. “We talk together almost every day. We have control of the situation and I want to keep him here. In football, you never know. But right now, there is no offer and Leigh has a future with us.

“If, in the short term, they (Hibs) were talking about a loan, as it is now, nothing is going to happen. Then he stays here.”

Stubbs wants ‘strong referee’ for Rangers clash

HIBS boss Alan Stubbs is hoping for a ‘strong referee’ for his side’s clash with Rangers on Monday night, with the controversial dismissal of Danny Handling during the two sides’ Petrofac Training Cup clash still a sore point for the Easter Road boss.

Handling was sent off with Hibs in the ascendancy for a challenge on David Templeton, with Rangers going on to win the game after extra time.

“I thought it was a harsh decision at the time and I still think that,” Stubbs admitted. “We were on top at the time so I personally believe it had a huge bearing on the game.

“Do I want a strong referee?” said Stubbs. “Is that not what we always want? I’m not asking for anything that’s any different. I expect refereeing decisions to be consistent.”

Whistler Calum Murray will take charge of Monday’s league encounter.

News in brief

• St Johnstone are not eyeing up a move for former Motherwell forward James McFadden, Tommy Wright has said

• Gary Mackay-Steven has admitted he will leave Dundee United at the end of the season but is aiming to go out on a high by helping the club win a trophy

• James McPake is expected to make Dundee’s trip to Ross County despite playing through the pain barrier against Dundee United in the League Cup clash

• Mubarak Wakaso, Virgil van Dijk and Mikael Lustig have all made the top 10 best players in the Scottish Premiership, in the FIFA 15 video game. The highest-rated non-Celtic player is Alexei Eremenko at No 8

• Tommy Craig has urged his St Mirren side to spark a change in fortune by beating Celtic

• Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic has been hit with another injury blow after being forced to undergo another operation