Warburton blasts sloppy Rangers but claims Ibrox club could still compete in Scottish Premiership; Deila rubbishes ‘panic’ claims over Cole links and Robert Lewandowski scores five goals in 9 minutes
Rangers 1 St Johnstone 3: Warburton’s win-streak shattered
GOALS from Murray Davidson, Simon Lappin and Michael O’Halloran gave St Johnstone a 3-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox. James Tavernier grabbed a consolation for the Gers.
Warburton slams sloppy Gers
MARK Warburton criticised his Rangers players for a “sloppy” first-half performance as his 100 per cent winning record in the job was shattered by St Johnstone at Ibrox.
The Perth side took full advantage of defensive frailty from Rangers to take a 2-0 interval lead in the League Cup third round tie, eventually winning 3-1.
“We were sloppy in the first half, simple as that,” said Warburton. “All credit to St Johnstone, their plan was to sit in and counter, but we have to learn from that first half.” (The Scotsman)
Rangers ‘still able to compete’ in Premiership, insists boss
MARK Warburton stood by comments that Rangers could hold their own in Scottish football’s top flight, despite a 3-1 loss to St Johnstone ending his 100% record as Ibrox boss.
Yet the ex-Brentford boss doesn’t think there’s a gulf between Rangers and the Scottish Premiership, after insisting pre-match that the Gers would be ‘faring well’ if they were competing in the top flight.
And while Warburton accepted that defensive errors had hampered Rangers, he was asked post-match if the result had shown a wider gap than he first thought, only to reply: “No, honestly I don’t.” (Daily Mail)
Deila dispels panic rumours over Cole signing
RONNY Deila has poured cold water on claims that Celtic are looking to sign Carlton Cole out of ‘panic’.
Deila dismissed talk that Cole’s trial was a direct response to Aberdeen’s five-point advantage at the top of the table, adding: “No it has nothing to do with that. We always look for things to improve the squad and the team and we’ve been looking for a target man for a long time.
“We haven’t found the right one yet and maybe Carlton can be that man.” (The Scotsman)
‘Snobbery’ allowed Celtic to trial Cole claims West Ham legend
WEST Ham legend Alvin Martin has claimed that English sides turn their noses up at free agents - which is why Celtic were able to get Carlton Cole on trial.
Martin said: “There is a tendency in the EPL to spend millions and millions of pounds. If clubs don’t then fans think they haven’t signed anyone of note.
“It’s a bit of snobbery really and the perception is if you’re not paying in excess of £15 million or £20 million for a centre forward then you’re buying damaged goods.” (Daily Record)
Hearts set to complete Djoum signing
HEARTS are expected to today unveil their latest signing, Arnaud Djoum, after the Belgian midfielder impressed during a trial stint.
The Edinburgh club are also running the rule over former West Bromwich Albion and England under-21 winger Jerome Thomas who has been released by Crystal Palace.
Djoum was offered a contract over the weekend and has agreed to sign a short-term deal until the end of January. The move remains subject to international clearance but will offer head coach Robbie Neilson greater depth in the central berths. (The Scotsman)
Poland striker Lewandowski nets five goals in 9 minutes
ROBERT Lewandowski was struggling to comprehend his jaw-dropping feat of scoring five times in nine second-half minutes as Bayern Munich came from behind to defeat Wolfsburg 5-1.
The 27-year-old began his scoring spree in the 51st minute and had completed the fastest hat-trick in Bundesliga history four minutes later.“It’s amazing,” said Lewandowski. “Five goals - that’s incredible.
“Each time I hit the ball, it went in. I’m very, very happy. This is a great evening for me.” (Various)
Ross County boss thrilled at ‘ruthless’ 7-0 win
ROSS County manager Jim McIntyre felt his side showed a ruthless streak in a 7-0 trouncing of Falkirk in the third round of the Scottish League Cup.
A first-half hat-trick from Liam Boyce, scored in a 10-minute spell, set up the rout before Raffa De Vita, Jonathan Franks, Brian Graham and substitute Darren Holden all chipped in with goals as County ran riot in the second half.
McIntyre said: “It was a fantastic performance. I thought we were at it from the first minute. We got the goals at the right times and showed a real ruthlessness.” (Various)
Hughes hails Caley Jags after hard-fought win
INVERNESS manager John Hughes lauded his side’s grit and professionalism after grinding out a 2-0 win over Livingston.
The Highlanders progressed to the quarter-finals of the Scottish League Cup thanks to goals from Miles Storey and Daniel Devine.
Hughes’ side were far from their fluent best but managed to see off the stubborn challenge of the Championship’s bottom club. (Various)
Under-fire Baraclough defends position
Ian Baraclough insisted he remained the right man to lead Motherwell out of their ongoing difficulties after they crashed out of the League Cup at Cappielow.
After fans called for him to be sacked, Baraclough said: “There isn’t anybody that works any harder at their job to try to get success for them. That’s what you do as a manager, work every hour God sends to try to get a result.
Angry words were exchanged in the visiting dressing room after the loss. “There comes a stage where you have to say ‘enough is enough’,” Baraclough said. “I hope one or two are maybe thinking ‘I haven’t got many more chances’. (Various)