MOTHERWELL boss Mark McGhee apologies for misunderstanding over handshake snub; Harry Forrester is set to sign a long-term deal with Rangers; Alan Stubbs still has sights set on Premiership promotion; plus more news and gossip in Sunday’s Rumour Mill
Mark McGhee apologises over handshake snub
Motherwell boss Mark McGhee was forced to apologise to Celtic counterpart Ronny Deila after seemingly refusing to shake hands with him.
McGhee blanked Deila after the Hoops won 2 - 1 at Fir Park, before congratulating Parkhead coaching staff.
Having initially avoided discussing the spat, McGhee put it down to a misunderstanding.
He said: “At the beginning of the game I felt as if when I went over to shake hands with the Celtic staff they blanked me.
“But I’ve spoken to Ronny and it was a total, 100 per cent misunderstanding on my part.” (Various)
Harry Forrester to sign long-term deal with Rangers
Rangers manager Mark Warburton has suggested midfielder Harry Forrester is set to sign a new long-term deal to keep him at Ibrox.
The 25-year-old moved to Rangers from Doncaster Rovers. His current contract is due to expire at the end of the season.
Warburton commented: ““Harry’s going to sign a new long-term contract. I’m delighted with that and so is he. He’s a very gifted player. He’ll get better and better.” (HITC)
Promotion is the aim, says Alan Stubbs
Hibernian boss Alan Stubbs has insisted that promotion to the top flight remains his ultimate goal but admitted winning the Scottish Cup would be an achievement.
The Easter Road club have endured a 114-year cup drought but are facing the added pressure of reaching the Premiership next season.
“There are two different ways to look at it. One is emotional and the other one is professional and I think the professional mindset would be the league and the emotional one would be the Scottish Cup. That’s probably the best way to describe it,” said Stubbs. (Scotland on Sunday)
Mixu Paatelainen keeping the faith
Dundee United manager Mixu Paatelainen remained defiant about relegation on Saturday after his side suffered another defeat to Inverness.
United are sitting eight points behind Kilmarnock in the play-off spot.
He said: ““Of course mathematically we’ve still got a chance. How much damage this has caused I don’t know but what I do know is that the boys have spirit. They don’t give up.” (Sunday Herald)
Boyata told about Old Firm significance by passport official
Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata realised how big a deal Old Firm matches are by a passport official.
The 25-year-old will get his first taste of the Old Firm derby when Celtic face Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
He said: “I got stopped at the airport by the people taking my passport and they said: ‘Oh, you play for Celtic? Be ready for that game.” (Sunday Mail)
Andy Walker: ‘Celtic should be thankful for Leigh Griffiths’
Former Celtic striker Andy Walker told Sky Sports that Celtic would be lagging behind in the Premiership without Leigh Griffiths.
Walker hailed Griffiths contribution to the Parkhead side, having netted 28 goals this season.
He said: “Without his contribution, which has been absolutely immense this season, Celtic would be lagging far behind.” (Insidefutbol.com)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Ross County’s Jim McIntyre hailed Alex Schalk for returning from his sick bed to fire the Stag’s into a top six spot in the league. (Sunday Express)
• Motherwell’s Connor Ripley admitted he was embarrassed by his two man of the match awards after gaffes gifted Leigh Griffiths a second-half winner. (Scottish Sun on Sunday)
• Caley Thistle boss John Hughes believes Miles Storey has what it takes to reach the top if he stops being hard on himself. (Scottish Sun on Sunday)