Gordon Strachan has vowed to lead Scotland to Russia
Gordon Strachan has vowed to “make Scotland proud” after committing to lead the team’s mission to the 2018 World Cup.
The former Celtic manager has signed a two-year extension with the Scottish Football Association, with his aim to qualify for the finals in Russia.
The Scots last got through to a major tournament when reaching the 1998 World Cup, and Strachan took time to consider his future after his side finished fourth in their European Championship qualifying group, behind Germany, Poland and the Republic of Ireland.
But the vocal backing of an 11,000-strong travelling support in Scotland’s final qualifier, a 6-0 win against Gibraltar, helped persuade Strachan to stay on. (Various)
Ross County pile further woe on Aberdeen with 2-0 win
Aberdeen’s calamitous tumble to earth from heady early-season heights gathered pace last night as Brian Graham’s double elevated Ross County to third in the Premiership.
The ex-Dundee United and St Johnstone striker netted a goal in each half to bring fresh agony to the league leaders who could now be toppled from the summit for the first time this season if Celtic beat Motherwell.
It was a fourth defeat in a row for the foundering Dons, but County deserved it for a sturdy, spirited and inventive show. (Scotsman)
Efe Ambrose vows to cut out his mistakes
Celtic defender Efe Ambrose says he ‘never’ thinks about leaving the Scottish champions.
Indeed, the 26-year-old has come in for plenty of criticism after a series of errors for the Bhoys. His most recent one came against Fenerbahce in the Europa League and was costly on the night.
But Ambrose isn’t contemplating leaving Parkhead in the slightest - and says manager Ronny Deila’s faith in him is the biggest factor behind his commitment.
The Nigerian told reporters: “I never think about that because I always have belief in myself. The best way to fight criticism is to deal with it and stay strong.
“You don’t run away from it - you face it and I have a manager who really believes in my ability.” (Scotsman)
‘I’ve got to prove myself’ at Motherwell - Mark McGhee
Mark McGhee says he must prove himself anew to Motherwell supporters in his second spell in charge at Fir Park.
“You go to any club, you’ve got to prove yourself,” said McGhee. “I don’t think it’s any different here.
“What I would hope is, the fact I’ve been here before and been relatively successful, it means it would give me a chance to prove myself.”
The Scotland assistant manager will not, however, be taking undue heed of any dissenting voices among the club’s fan base.
“I remember when I went to Brighton: there was a section of supporters through the internet saying, ‘Why are they taking Mark McGhee?’ I had just had a successful time at Millwall,” McGhee recalled.
“Then I was there for three-and-a-half years and, when I left, the press guy told me the exact same names were glad to see me go, but they had been silent for three-and-a-half years.
“So, I don’t think you can always trust these voices; I’m not going to concern myself with that.
“I’m going to go out there and try to prove to those people who are supporting Motherwell that I am the right man.” (BBC)
Mathias Pogba: Partick Thistle have a new fan in my superstar brother Paul
Partick Thistle striker Mathias Pogba admits he can’t wait to receive a text from superstar brother Paul congratulating him on his first goal for the club.
The Juventus ace was the first person to get in touch after the Jags recorded their first win of the season against Dundee United before the international break.
Now Mathias is determined to hit the goal trail and help fire the Firhill side up the table.
He said:“He was the first person to send me a text after we got our first win of the season a couple of weeks ago. But the text I’m really looking forward to is the one congratulating me on getting my first goal for the club.
“Of course Paul is a Partick Thistle supporter now and he follows our results closely from Italy.”
News in Brief:
• Sean Dillon says he hopes Mixu Paatelainen’s arrival will steady the ship at Dundee United. (Herald)
• Rob Kiernan says Mark Warburton is cooking up something special at Ibrox and he’s glad to be part of it. (Herald)
• Louis Van Gaal has blamed the club’schef for Man United’s recent slump in form in a bizarre rant. (Mirror)
• Jurgen Klopp can end Liverpool’s wait for a league title, according to Mats Hummels. (Mirror)