Rangers linked with Hamilton midfielder Ali Crawford; Mark Warburton says he’s ‘bemused’ by Rangers-Aberdeen hatred and Chris Sutton launches astonishing attack on Derek Johnstone
Crawford ‘could be Rangers star’
HAMILTON midfielder Ali Crawford ‘should be starring for Rangers’, according to fellow Accies star Darian MacKinnon who says he’s stunned the Gers didn’t move for his team mate in the summer.
MacKinnon added: “The wee man’s a magician and I think it’s only a matter of time before somebody takes a chance on him. He fully deserves it. I was actually thinking he’d go to Rangers in the summer.
“I thought he would’ve been the real deal for them. I thought he would’ve been a great signing for them.” (Scottish Sun)
Warburton ‘bemused’ by Dons/Gers rivalry
MARK Warburton has admitted he does not understand the poisonous atmosphere that invariably exists when Aberdeen meet Rangers as the sides prepare to resume hostilities at Pittodrie tomorrow after a four-year absence.
He said: “I’ve heard about the warmth of reception etc, and the rivalry between the clubs. I don’t really understand it. I don’t really understand where the bitterness comes from. It is bemusing a little bit.
“I keep hearing about the pure hatred, the pure bitterness. It’s football we’re talking about. It does seem quite sad that it should be at this state.” (The Scotsman)
Sutton and Johnstone in incredible radio bust-up
FORMER Celtic and Rangers greats Chris Sutton and Derek Johnstone clashed in an remarkable bust-up on Radio Clyde’s Superscoreboard programmme, with Sutton labelling his fellow pundit ‘a Rangers puppet’.
The ex-Celtic striker laid into Johnstone after calling into the programme, saying: “He’s an apologist, he’s a charlatan, he’s a Rangers puppet. He’s a cheerleader, that’s what he is.”
Sutton branded Johnstone a ‘party political broadcaster’ and an ‘embarrassment’ while the ex-Ger fired back that he was ‘disgusted with himself’ for talking to the former Hoops striker. (The Scotsman)
Lennon set to make call on Eardley
NEIL Lennon could make a decision on trialist Neal Eardley as early as next week, after the 27-year-old Welsh defender impressed during a spell at East Mains.
The ex-Blackpool and Birmingham right back has appeared in two development league matches and Lennon is believed to be keen on Eardley as he seeks cover for David Gray.
Earlier interest in ex-Motherwell man Tom Hateley and Polish defender Filip Modelski came to nothing. (Edinburgh Evening News)
Clark rubbishes Killie admin talk
KILMARNOCK boss Lee Clark has dismissed rumours that the club is staring down the barrel of administration - even if a proposed £750,000 investment falls through.
IT tycoon Chris McMail has threatened to walk away unless Michael Johnston resigns from the Rugby Park board.
But Clark said: “I am being backed with finances to go out and get other players. If administration was looming that wouldn’t be the case. Believe me, that’s not the sort of scenario this club is in now. Far from it.” (Scottish Sun)
Rodgers won’t rest players before City test
CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers insists he will resist any temptation to rest key players this afternoon ahead of the daunting Champions League assignment against Manchester City next Wednesday.
Rodgers intends to field his strongest possible side in today’s Premiership fixture against Kilmarnock at Celtic Park, content they will have sufficient recovery time before facing Pep Guardiola’s English Premier League leaders.
Rodgers said: “We have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before the game against City, so we get an extra day recovery [compared to the Barcelona tie]. The most important game for us is the next one so we will be all out to get a result.” (The Scotsman)
Ozturk ‘still has Hearts future’
ALIM Ozturk still has a future at Hearts despite losing the captaincy to Perry Kitchen, Robbie Neilson has insisted.
The Turkish centre half has found first-team opportunities hard to come by this season after making high-profile errors in the Betfred Cup loss to St Johnstone.
Neilson said: “Alim will get back in the team at some point, whether it’s this week, whether it’s next week. There is definitely [a future] for Alim if he wants it.” (Edinburgh Evening News)
Fontaine set for Hibs return
HIBS defender Liam Fontaine is set to boost his comeback bid by returning to full training on Monday.
The 30-year-old stopper hasn’t featured since the victory over Dunfermline five weeks ago after sustaining a calf problem. However, Fontaine has now recovered from his injury and will step up his search for full fitness at East Mains in the coming days and could feature in the development league match against Rangers on Tuesday. (Edinburgh Evening News)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Aberdeen and St Johnstone’s war of words is raging on, with Saints striker Steven MacLean branding the Dons disrespectful for the way they celebrated their last-minute League Cup victory on Thursday
• Moussa Dembele has told Rangers they got off easy in the Old Firm match, claiming he should have scored more goals
• Nicky Low could make his first start for Dundee against Inverness Caledonian Thistle today