Scottish football gossip: Cardiff manager at the wind-up with Celtic jibe; Oli McBurnie harbours hopes of Ibrox switch and Walter Smith fires warning at Rangers
Warnock in jibe at Celtic
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock incurred the wrath of Celtic fans yesterday when he suggested that Rangers were the only team in Scotland.
Speaking to Alan Brazil on talkSPORT, Warnock was asked about the quality of Scottish football, and said: “Let’s be honest, it’s not as good as it once was. But Scottish football is on its way back.
“I mean, there’s only one team in Scotland – and that’s Rangers.” (talkSPORT)
McBurnie admits Gers dream
New Scotland striker Oli McBurnie retains hope he might one day play for Rangers after a move to Ibrox broke down suddenly on transfer deadline day in January.
The 21-year-old Swansea player moved instead to Barnlsey, where he has scored six goals in his last seven appearances and was the Championship Player of the Month for February.
“There were murmurs. But anything can happen. I was told about three o’clock nothing was going to happen and I had a certain amount of clubs to pick from. I chose Barnsley and it’s going well for me at the minute.” (The Scotsman)
Smith’s Murty warning
Walter Smith has advised Rangers not to leave Graeme Murty hanging on as fresh doubts emerge about his long-term future as Ibrox manager.
Murty was given the role until the end of the season but successive defeats at home against Celtic and Kilmarnock have led some fans to demand that a more experienced figure is named in the post.
Smith, who confirmed he is “finished” as a manager, said: “It wouldn’t be easy for any manager to handle, never mind someone who has come in to take over a managerial job for the first time.” (The Scotsman)
Lafferty targets record goal haul
Craig Levein hopes Kyle Lafferty reaches 20 goals this season to become Hearts’ most prolific forward since John Robertson.
The Northern Irishman’s current total is 17 and three more would see him ranked the most deadly goalscorer at Tynecastle in more than quarter of a century.
Saturday’s 3-0 win over Partick Thistle saw Lafferty claim his 17th competitive strike in his 34th appearance of the campaign. He is now closing in on Rudi Skacel’s 18-goal total from season 2011/12. (Evening News)
Allan ‘should never have left Hibs’
Alan Stubbs reckons Scott Allan made a mistake in leaving Hibs for Celtic after just one season, insisting that the playmaker has found a “football home” at Easter Road.
Stubbs, who signed Allan for Hibs, said: “Sometimes players find a club that is the right fit and things just seem to click. Scott seems to have found that at Hibs. He has found a football home at Easter Road.
“Scott now has to weigh up what is more important to him. Moving to the big club where you are not necessarily going to play or finding a home where you get paid well and play every week.” (Daily Record)
Lennon wants nine points from next three games
Hibs head coach Neil Lennon has urged his players to take maximum points from their three remaining matches before the Premiership “split” to keep the heat on Rangers and Aberdeen in the race for second place.
The Easter Road side’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone saw them lose ground on the Dons, who defeated Dundee but even so the Capital club are only six points adrift of Rangers following their defeat by Kilmarnock.
Both Hibs and Aberdeen have a game in hand over Rangers giving Derek McInnes’ players the chance to leapfrog them before the split and Lennon’s side the opportunity to narrow the gap to just three points. (Evening News)