Gerrard ‘will wield axe’
Steven Gerrard has warned his misfiring Rangers team that he will go out and buy better quality players if that’s what it takes for the Ibrox side to taste success.
The Gers slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Aberdeen in yesterday’s Betfred Cup semi-final - their fifth successive last-four failure.
Gerrard said: “If the players that we’ve got now don’t improve and start showing the quality we need in the final third, my job is to go and find the players who will.” (The Scotsman)
Rodgers keen on keeping Christie
Brendan Rodgers is desperate to keep Ryan Christie at Celtic after the half-time substitute emerged as the holders’ Betfred cup hero at BT Murrayfield.
Christie replaced Olivier Ntcham, earning a penalty for the first goal, drawing a mistake from Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal for the second and then scoring the third himself with a well-hit strike.
Rodgers said: “He’s someone that we would look to commit to. The club have been talking to his representatives but I’m not aware of any movement. He is a player that we would love to keep. He is a fantastic player.” (The Scotsman)
MacLean laughs off Kouassi clash
Steven MacLean has played down his clash with Eboue Kouassi during the 3-0 Betfred Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic at BT Murrayfield.
Kouassi went down in apparent agony holding the front of his shorts and accused MacLean of grabbing him downstairs after the pair clashed at a corner during Celtic’s 3-0 Betfred Cup semi-final win.
The veteran Hearts striker said: “It was just a laugh, just a coming together. If I went down every time a centre-half niggled me I would be on my backside all day. It was just handbags.” (Evening News)
Griffiths ‘likes’ Naismith troll tweets
Leigh Griffiths may not have been on the pitch as his Celtic side defeated Hearts 3-0, but the striker was still taking a keen interest in proceedings.
The Scotland international liked several messages on Twitter, including one that read: “Hearts got pumped, someone better tweet a picture of Naismith laughing at someone”.
The 28-year-old also liked another tweet branding his national team colleague “a s***ebag.” (Various)
McInnes: Dons can end Celtic trophy monopoly
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes believes his team are capable of ending Celtic’s current monopoly of Scottish football silverware by winning the Betfred Cup final at Hampden on December 2.
McInnes will lock horns with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers in a domestic final for the third time after losing out in both the League Cup and Scottish Cup showpiece occasions two seasons ago.
“Do I think we can beat Celtic? Absolutely. For us to win it, we’ll have had to have beaten Hibs in Edinburgh, and Rangers and Celtic in Glasgow. It won’t be easy but we are now 90 minutes away from doing it.” (The Scotsman)
“Could Umar have scored? 100%”
Steven Gerrard has insisted that Rangers forward Umar Sadiq could have kept going and scored the equaliser against Aberdeen.
The towering Nigerian striker was booked for simulation with seven minutes left at Hampden after he threw himself to the ground as he attempted to go around Dons ‘keeper Joe Lewis.
Gerrard said: “His performance up until the final bit today was okay. What I would say to him is if you go around the ‘keeper, stand up and put the ball in the net. Don’t dive or you are going to get a yellow card.
“Could he have carried on and scored? 100 per cent.” (The Scotsman)
Dons goal hero proves Rangers wrong
Lewis Ferguson has claimed being rejected by Rangers as a youngster spurred him on and helped him bag the winner against his former club at Hampden.
Ferguson - son of ex-Rangers midfielder Derek and nephew of former captain Barry - said: “Rangers said I wasn’t good enough for them so I took that on the chin and I moved on
“It was hard being told I wasn’t good enough but it just gave me the motivation to prove them wrong. It was good to get the goal to settle the semi-final.” (The Scotsman)