Scottish football gossip: Brendan Rodgers defends rotation policy after St Johnstone stalemate; Ghislain Guessan to get chance to show abilities in U20 game and Jose Mourinho urges Alex McLeish to cap Scott McTominay
Rodgers defends rotation policy
Brendan Rodgers insisted he had no regrets over fielding a radically changed starting line-up against St Johnstone as Celtic dropped two points at home to the struggling Perth side.
Ahead of this week’s trip to face Zenit St Petersburg, Rodgers made seven changes to his side.
“You have to be careful with so many big games and a big game on Thursday,” said Rodgers. “It was still a strong team we fielded. It was young, but strong and we just couldn’t get the win.” (The Scotsman)
Guessan to get Hearts chance
Trialist striker Ghislain Guessan will get the chance to show Hearts he deserves a contract tomorrow night when he plays for the under-20 side.
The Ivorian striker is scheduled to play in a Development League match against Dundee United at Riccarton before manager Craig Levein decides whether to offer him a deal.
Guessan’s trial period is due to end tomorrow, but Levein will assess him in a game situation before making a final decision on his future. (Evening News)
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Cap Scott, Mourinho tells McLeish
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has urged new Scotland manager Alex McLeish to hand a call up to Old Trafford youngster Scott McTominay.
McTominay, who qualifies to play for either England or Scotland, has put in some impressive performances in the United engine room - and Mourinho reckons he deserves more recognition.
Mourinho said: “I think Scott deserves more than what he is getting. And because it looks like England is missing him, if I was Alex McLeish the first thing I would do would be to [phone him].” (Daily Record)
Flo: It should have been FIVE
Florian Kamberi has claimed Hibs could have scored “four or five” more goals as they defeated Aberdeen to close in on second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Martin Boyle nodded Hibs ahead only a minute after the interval as Aberdeen goalkeeper Freddie Woodman could only push Jamie Maclaren’s shot into his path, and Swiss striker Kamberi claimed his second goal in three games to clinch the win.
Kamberi insisted: “We could have scored four or five goals more but the win was the most important thing. We deserved three points.” (Evening News)
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Killie targeting Europe - Mulumbu
Kilmarnock midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu insists the Rugby Park side are targeting a European spot, after their 1-0 win over Motherwell at the weekend propelled them into the top six.
And with two games in hand over their rivals, the former West Brom ace said: “That’s the kind of game you need to win to be in the top six. Maybe we can go further, finish in the top four and get into Europe.
“You need to dream and when you have the quality that this group has, you can beat any team. We beat Celtic, Rangers, we drew away from home against them both. We’re not afraid of anyone, we just have to keep competing.” (The Sun)
Rodgers in dig at St Johnstone
Brendan Rodgers had a pop at St Johnstone after yesterday’s 0-0 draw at Celtic Park as he questioned the Saints players’ commitment.
Rodgers said: ““There’s a question there for [Tommy Wright]’s players. He’s fantastic manager and I am sure he walks away happy with a point, but he’s probably really frustrated.
“How can you win a game at Ibrox on December 16 and then not win again apart from the Albion Rovers cup game. The next big result is away at Celtic. If they [were committed] in every single match they would win a lot more games.” (Various)
Windass serious about second place
Josh Windass insists Rangers can hold off challengers for second place after his hat-trick helped the Ibrox side leapfrog Aberdeen in the league.
The 24-year-old celebrated a contract extension with a second hat-trick inside three weeks, having also earned the match ball against Fraserburgh in the Scottish Cup.
Windass has now scored nine goals in his last five appearances and insisted: “We are second now again and hopefully we can make the gap bigger.” (The Scotsman)
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