Rumour Mill: Neil Lennon | Ally McCoist’s cup aim

Ronny Deila has dismissed rumours of a spat with Neil Lennon. Picture: John Devlin
Ronny Deila has dismissed rumours of a spat with Neil Lennon. Picture: John Devlin
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Ronny Deila has played down talk of a rift with former Celtic boss Neil Lennon; Neil Lennon could be in line for Fulham job; Ally McCoist is targeting League cup success and more in Tuesday’s Rumour Mill

Ronny Deila insists there’s no spat between him and Neil Lennon

Ronny Deila has insisted there is no feud with Neil Lennon over the fitness of his Celtic squad.

Former Hoops boss Lennon took a swipe at managers who take over a new club and question the physical state of their charges.

It was believed to be an indirect reference to Deila, who has banned fizzy drinks at Lennoxtown and ordered his players to reduce their body fat.

Deila moved to clear the air yesterday as he previewed tomorrow’s League Cup clash with Hearts at Parkhead and stressed he was not insulting his predecessor.

He said: “I inherited a championship-winning team and I have never said anything that would reflect badly on that achievement. Neil did fantastically well and I’ve been respectful. I’m a big fan of what he did here before. What I meant is there is always room for improvement when you bring in new players and others return from injuries and surgeries.

“As he says as well, there are different ways to look at things. For me, we still have a job to do to get the players fitter. That’s nothing to do with what has happened here before because that was great.” (Record)

Meanwhile Deila has quashed rumours that Leigh Griffiths is leaving the club to go on loan to Hibs and has urged the striker to step up and fight for his place in the team. (Various)

Neil Lennon in line for Fulham job

Fulham owner Shahid Khan will sift through candidates to replace Felix Magath who left the club this weekend. Neil Lennon has made no secret of his desire to take up the role but will have stiff competition from the likes of Tim Sherwood and Malky Mackay. Magath defended his performance in the role, even though he failed to stop the club from being relegated from the Premier league last season and has led them to a string of defeats that sees them firmly rooted at the bottom of the Championship. He said: “I don’t have a guilty conscience. I don’t want to sound arrogant but I am convinced that English football has something to learn from German qualities.”

Bookies have placed Lennon at around 6/1 to be the next manager with Malky MacKay being the bookies favourite at 7/4. (Various)

Ally McCoist is aiming for League Cup glory

Ally McCoist insists Rangers are targeting League Cup glory despite going into tonight’s last-16 clash with Falkirk missing four regulars. The Ibrox manager confirmed Nicky Clark Lewis MacLeod could be out for weeks after picking up injuries on Alloa’s plastic pitch this weekend. They will join long term absentees Cammy Bell and Kenny Miller. McCoist said: “We are a stronger squad and a stronger team so naturally I’d think we are better placed than the previous couple of seasons to put a challenge in for one of the trophies. The result last week against Inverness would indicate in a one off game we can compete with the best teams in the country. Our hopes of winning a cup this year would be the same as the likes of Inverness, Dundee and Dundee United.” (Record)

Paul Hartley ready to turn down a £300k offer to join Cardiff

The Dundee manager is ready to turn down the offer as the Championship club want him to be part of a management committee. Hartley is reportedly keen on the move but is being put off by the job description as it is looking increasingly unlikely that he would have sole charge of the team. He would be forced to work alongside a director of football and owner Vincent Tan’s advisers. (Sun)

News in brief:

• Artur Boruc hopes he can line up in goals for Poland when they face Scotland next month after securing a loan switch to Bournemouth from Southampton. (Various)

• Manchester City are lining up a fresh bid for Everton star Ross Barkley, the Toffees are reportedly after £50 million for the player. (Record)

• Alloa have signed former St Mirren goalkeeper Grant Adam. (Various)

• Hamilton Accies boss Alex Neil has been handed a lucrative new contract. (Sun)