Rumour Mill: Rodgers blasted over comments | McInnes for EPL job? | Spurs ‘drop Ajer interest’

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Rodgers slammed over Davies comments; West Brom back in for McInnes and Spurs drop Ajer interest

Dodds slams Rodgers over Davies comments

Criticised: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers. Picture: Getty Images

Criticised: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers. Picture: Getty Images

Billy Dodds has hit out at Brendan Rodgers, accusing the Celtic boss of trying to influence the SFA over Andrew Davies’ challenge on Scott Brown.

With Davies unlikely to face punishment on top of his two-match ban, Dodds felt Rodgers’ post-match comments were over the top.

He said: “Some of the stuff from Brendan Rodgers after the game was uncalled for. For me, he was trying to influence the disciplinary department with his comments. The SFA panel is a joke anyway with what goes on.” (Scottish Sun)

West Brom back in for McInnes

Derek McInnes is expected to be among the candidates to take the reins at West Bromwich Albion, after Alan Pardew was sacked and the English Premier League’s bottom club decided to name first-team coach Darren Moore as caretaker until the summer.

McInnes, former Ross county manager Owen Coyle, ex-Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare, Michael Appleton, Dean Smith and Graham Potter are the other names linked with the job. (Daily Record / Times)

Spurs drop Ajer interest as Dortmund circle

Tottenham Hotspur are believed to have cooled their interest in Celtic and Norway defender Kristoffer Ajer after reports Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund are keen on the teenage centre half.

Spurs will likely be seeking a replacement for Toby Alderweireld come summer, and Ajer had been one possible target.

But Mauricio Pochettino’s side look set to give up the chase with Dortmund leading the charge. (Various)

Zenit player warned for missing drug test after Celtic clash

Zenit St Petersburg have been warned by Uefa after a player failed to attend a drug test following Celtic’s win over the Russians in February.

Dmitry Poloz, 26, was selected for the test at Celtic Park at full-time but failed to turn up straightaway, earning his side a caution from European football’s governing body. (The Scotsman)

Lennon urges Hibs to seize initative

Neil Lennon has urged his players to seize the chance to finish second in the Premiership table – because they might never get the opportunity to do so again.

Hibs know a win against Hamilton tonight could take them to a point behind Rangers and Aberdeen. The Dons, trailing Rangers only on goal difference, face a tricky trip to Motherwell.

And, Lennon insisted, another victory over basement outfit Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday, in the final round of fixtures before the split, would give the Easter Road club a good platform going into what he called the “gargantuan” games that would follow. (The Scotsman)

Scotland to face Portugal in friendly

Scotland are to take on Euro 2016 winners Portugal in a mid-Nations League friendly, according to reports.

Despite the brand new tournament aiming to limit the number of meaningless matches, the Scots are set to face Portugal just days after taking on Israel in Tel Aviv.

Belgium have already agreed to visit Hampden on September 7. (Scottish Sun)

Lennon wants long bans over reckless challenges

Neil Lennon has called for stiffer penalties for those who deliberately attempt to hurt an opponent, claiming ill-discipline and recklessness is putting players at risk of serious injury.

The Hibernian head coach would like to see the punishment fit the crime, with the guilty players forced to sit out for the same period of time it takes those they injure to recover.

Lennon wants players to take more responsibility and claims to have seen an increase in deliberate attempts to inflict an injury. (The Scotsman)

Smith a doubt for Dons clash

Michael Smith is a doubt for Saturday’s match against Aberdeen after a recurring back problem forced him to miss Hearts’ draw with Dundee.

The Northern Irish right-back, who has been playing central midfield in recent matches, would have started at Dens Park on Sunday if he hadn’t been afflicted by pain in the days leading up to the match.

Smith will be monitored this week before a decision is taken on whether he will be fit enough to return to the side for this weekend’s meeting with the Dons at Tynecastle. (Evening News)