Rumour Mill: Dembele nears return | Edouard applauded by Celtic teammates | John not fazed by Ibrox
Dembele back in Celtic training
The striker is back training as he continues on his road to recovery from his hamstring problems which have kept him on the sidelines since July.
He is on course to make a return in the Old Firm derby against Rangers on 23 September. (Goal.com)
Rodgers’ Edouard joy
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is delighted with the performance of 19-year-old PSG loanee Odsonne Edouard. The Frenchman scored in Friday night’s 4-1 win away to Hamilton.
“I’m delighted for him,” said Rodgers, “All strikers want to get goals and he’s got one and he created one or two other opportunities for himself. He received a round of applause from all the players and staff after the game.” (Various)
McInnes relishing Murrayfield challenge
Aberdeen boss Derek McInness has urged his players to focus on the game rather than the occasion as they take on Hearts at Murrayfield on Saturday afternoon. Aberdeen are set to bring a 7,000 strong travelling support to the home of Scottish rugby as Hearts move out of Tynecastle during the redevelopment. It’s the first time a domestic football match has been played at Murrayfield.
McInnes said: “It is an unusual scenario and I have probably been asked more about the stadium than I have about the game.” (Press and Journal)
Alves expecting tough clash with Celtic
Dani Alves says Paris St Germain will use the Celtic match as a first stepping stone towards winning the Champions Legaue. The Brazilian said he expected Celtic to provide two tough games but he expects £200m signing Neymar will blow Celtic away.
Alves said: “Already in his opening games, he has shown what he can do. I have played with him at Barcelona and Brazil and it is difficult to explain just how good he is.” (Daily Record)
Declan John won’t be fazed by Ibrox crowd
On-loan Cardiff defender Declan John says coming up against the likes of Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez means he isn’t fazed by coming up against Dundee on his Rangers debut.
The 22-year-old said: “At 18 coming up against those players you’re a bit starstruck but it will only be good for me now playing at a massive club as Rangers.”
John hopes his move north can help get him back into the Welsh national squad. (Daily Record)
Garry O’Connor says helping others is a second chance
Garry O’Connor has been speaking about launching his Second Chance Football Academy. The former Hibs star, 34, who signed for Lokomotiv Moscow for £1.6m in 2006, had a disastrous second spell in Russia with Tom Tomsk and a troublesome period at Birmingham City.
“I came back from Russia and that was me, done, chucked football. I didn’t get paid by that mob over there, it absolutely destroyed me.
“So when I came back, I was so depressed I just thought football wasn’t worth it given everything it had put me and my family through. That’s when I started to think what I could do to help kids. I had to ask what else I was good at which was nothing really! It’s now obvious to me that it’s helping people in football and the community.” (The Herald)
No-one will bully Mothwerwell says Robinson
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson says that no one will come to Fir Park and bully his side anymore, as the Steelmen have rediscovered their identity.
After wins over over Ross County and Hearts in Lanarkshire, he says they have shown they are no soft touches anymore.
“We needed some sort of identity,” said Robinson. “People now know that we are a strong physical team that can play at the same time. (Evening Times)
Virus hits Kilmarnock squad
Kilmarnock could be without up to four players for the match against Motherwell tomorrow with a number of the squad laid low by tonsillitis. The virus has affected younger players, while Kris Boyd could also miss the game due to injury.
Boss Lee McCulloch said: “There have been four or five cases of it in the club, which I’ve never known before.” (The Times)