Hearts wrap up Championship title with seven games remaining as Stubbs blasts Willie Collum; Charles Green opens up about Ally McCoist and Robbie Neilson eyes top six spot next season
Hearts win Championship title
HEARTS yesterday wrapped up the Scottish Championship title after a below-par Hibernian lost 2-0 to Rangers at Easter Road.
The Jambos have so far amassed 78 points from 29 matches, winning 25 and losing just once, and scoring 84 goals in the process, conceding just 18.
And Hearts could surpass the total number of points Hibs racked up when they won the First Division in the 1998/99 season.
Under Alex McLeish, Hibs won the second tier with 89 points - but Hears are just four wins away from bettering that total.
With seven matches left, the Championship is now focused on the race for second place, with Hibs currently occupying the spot, and Rangers three points behind in third with a game in hand. (Various)
Green admits: I should have sacked Ally ages ago
FORMER Rangers chief executive Charles Green has admitted he should have done Rangers a favour by booting out Ally McCoist earlier.
Green - who yesterday hinted at a sensational return to Ibrox - said McCoist’s £760,000 wage packet was ‘an embarrassment’ as the Ibrox side dropped points to Third Division outfits.
But Green revealed the need to keep Rangers’ stock market flotation on track distracted him from on-field performances.
He said: “I should have done the club a favour by getting rid of him sooner. The reason I didn’t was I’d already promised in May 2012 that I would do the Initial Public Offering before the end of the year.
“In October when we went to Stirling and lost, I could’ve sacked him and been made Lord Mayor of Glasgow by the time I got back to the city.” (The Sun)
Stubbs hits out at Collum after foul on Hanlon
HIBS boss Alan Stubbs hit out at referee Willie Collum after the whistler failed to award a free kick for Hibs in the lead up to Kenny Miller’s goal in Rangers’ 2-0 win over Hibs at Easter Road on Sunday.
Callum - who was ‘demoted’ earlier this year after two red cards he gave were rescinded on appeal - allowed play to continue despite Lee Wallace bundling Paul Hanlon over in the Hibs box.
And Stubbs told Sky Sports that Collum ‘got a big call very, very wrong’.
The Hibs head coach added: “I’ve been in management a short time. I was player a long time. Over the years, that decision would be given 100 per cent of the time.
“I think that’s probably the best way to describe it without me getting into trouble. Not 90 per cent, not 99 per cent - 100 per cent. But a guy who has an influence over a game decided differently.
“Everyone in the stadium could see it was a foul. There’s no way you can dress it up - it was a foul - Paul was caught after he cleared the ball and in the laws of the game it was a foul.” (Sky Sports)
Neilson eyes top six next season
ROBBIE Neilson is targeting a top six finish for Hearts next season - with the promise that the Tynecastle club can focus on cup competitions once again.
Neilson - who was at a coaching course in Stirling when Rangers’ victory at Easter Road handed Hearts the title with seven games remaining - said: “There is a lot of work to do. Right now we’re a Championship team that’s won promotion to the Premiership.
“It’s a big step up and we’re going to be playing against better players and better teams.
“We want to get into the top six, but it’s going to be difficult because we are taking a huge step up in standard.
“This season was very difficult in the cups, but the main objective was to get promoted and we have done that.
“Next season we can focus on the league AND the cups.” (The Sun)
Hearts told ‘pay up for Genero’
Hearts have been told they must pay a transfer fee for striker Genero Zeefuik if they want him next season.
Zeefuik’s parent club Groningen will not allow the former Netherlands Under-21 international to return for another loan spell so Hearts will have to get the chequebook out if they want to hold on to the powerful forward, who has netted nine goals in 10 games for the Jambos. (Daily Express)
Ambrose tells Hoops to hang on to Denayer
Efe Ambrose has urged Celtic to keep fellow defender Jason Denayer, who is on loan from Manchester City, at the Scottish champions next season.
Denayer has made no secret of his desire to return to City but the Nigerian international feels the Hoops should try to keep the Belgian in Glasgow. (Daily Record)
Germany FA chief’s Euro 2016 fears
German FA president Wolfgang Niersbach has admitted he is worried the world champions might not qualify for Euro 2016 from Scotland’s group.
Die Mannschaft scraped past the Scots with a 2-1 win in Dortmund, suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Poland and were held to a 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland.
Although they put four past Gibraltar, both Poland and the Irish recorded 7-0 wins.
Scotland and the Republic are level with Germany on points, with Poland out in front with three wins and a draw from their four matches.
Germany’s next match is away to Georgia. (The Herald)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Dundee will stand by midfielder Paul McGowan even if he is jailed after admitting police assault for the third time
• Darren Fletcher has indicated Scott Brown should hold on to the Scotland captaincy