Rumour Mill: ‘Drop Johansen’ | Rangers & Sports Direct | Tierney for Isle of Man?

Ex-Celtic star calls on Ronny Deila to drop Stefan Johansen; Rangers chairman Dave King insists he won’t be ‘cowed’ by Sports Direct legal threats and Hoops kid Kieran Tierney on why he could end up playing for the Isle of Man national team

Stefan Johansen has been a shadow of last season's player, according to Murdo MacLeod. Picture: Gordon Fraser

Emilio Izaguirre pictured with bloody ear after training ground bust-up

EMILIO Izaguirre was ferried off the Lennoxtown pitches yesterday by golf buggy - after a training ground altercation with Nadir Ciftci.

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Celtic boss Ronny Deila confirmed that the Turkish striker had reacted angrily to a tackle from the Honduran, leaving the left back with a bloody ear.

Emilio Izaguirre sports a bloody ear as he leaves the training field with physio Tim Williamson. Picture: SNS Group

But Deila played down the incident, claiming that the atmosphere at Celtic was fine. (Various)

‘Drop Johansen’, MacLeod tells Deila

FORMER Celtic star Murdo MacLeod has called on Ronny Deila to drop Stefan Johansen - insisting the Norwegian midfielder needs a break.

MacLeod said Johansen ‘needs to be benched’ in order to give him a rest, while furious fans have slammed Deila for continuing to play his countryman despite a number of below-par performances.

MacLeod added: “When Johansen first arrived at the club he looked a useful player. And last season he was outstanding. But if you watch him now he is a shadow of the player he was last season.”

The former Hibs skipper also believes Deila’s unwavering faith in Johansen may have played a part in Kris Commons’ outburst after being subbed off against Molde. (Daily Record)

King in Sports Direct vow

RANGERS chairman Dave King has vowed not to be ‘cowed’ by legal threats from Sports Direct after Mike Ashley’s company

In a frank statement he accused the retail firm of ‘poor business practices’ and ‘corporate governance failures’ as he wrote: “Sports Direct continues to litigate with the club in an attempt to enforce its wishes and demands.

“This seems based on the simple logic that Sports Direct can outspend the club in legal fees and thereby deal with the club as it pleases. I assure supporters that the club will not be cowed by this threat.”

The firm recently secured a court injunction preventing Rangers from revealing details of Sport Direct’s deal to run the Ibrox megastore. (Various)

Tierney ‘could play for Isle of Man’

CELTIC kid Kieran Tierney has revealed he could end up playing for the Isle of Man national team.

The Hoops youngster, who recently broke into the Celtic first team, qualifies for the Isle of Man’s representative squad, Ellan Vannin, through being born in Douglas.

And despite his Scotland Under-19 caps, Tierney revealed he was asked to join the side for the ConIFA World Cup - a tournament for states, minorities, unaffiliated FIFA regions and stateless peoples.

Ellan Vannin plays matches against the likes of South Ossetia, County of Nice, Nagorno-Karabakh and Iraqi Kurdistan, and were runners up in the 2014 tournament.

Ellan Vannin have also played matches against Scottish counterparts the Western Isles and Shetland. (The Scotsman)

Hibs ‘can inflict first league defeat on Rangers’, says ex-striker

FORMER Hibs striker Steve Cowan reckons Hibs have what it takes to beat Rangers at Easter Road this weekend.

Mark Warburton’s men are unbeaten in the league but Cowan - who scored 23 goals in 70 appearances for Hibs - thinks Hibs have a steel about them that they lacked last season.

And Cowan feels that Hibs could gain revenge for the 6-2 Petrofac Cup defeat by beating the Gers on league duty. (The Sun)

Morton 1 St Johnstone 3: Saints through to semis

ST JOHNSTONE showed precisely why they have become one of the country’s most adept sides in one-off occasions as they claimed a League Cup semi-final place at Cappielow last night.

Tommy Wright’s side extricated themselves from a potentially awkward predicament in overcoming the loss of a goal early in the second period to run out comfortable victors that will provide the 2014 Scottish Cup winners with a third semi-final inside two years. (The Scotsman)

McIntyre ‘relieved’ after first Highland derby win

Ross County boss Jim McIntyre admitted to relief at breaking his Highland derby duck last night as the Dingwall club booked a first League Cup semi-final.

Goals from Jackson Irvine and Michael Gardyne handed the Staggies victory in ‘El Kessocko’, despite Greg Tansey’s 81st minute goal giving ICT a glimmer of hope.

McIntyre said: “I’m thrilled. It’s been a long time coming. In four attempts we hadn’t won. It’s nice to get that monkey off our back and some of our play was fantastic – we should have scored more goals.” (The Scotsman)

News in brief

• St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright has said star striker Michael O’Halloran is good enough to play for Scotland

• Rangers starlet Ryan Hardie has signed a new two-year deal at Ibrox. The Scotland Under-19 striker has made eight appearances under Mark Warburton

• Arsenal were forced into two substitutions in the first 20 minutes of their League Cup loss to Sheffield Wednesday. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was replaced after just five minutes by Theo Walcott, who was himself taken off after injury with Ismael Bennacer coming on in his place