Rumour Mill: Celtic | Hearts | Hibs | Motherwell
Lennon issues warning to Griffiths
NEIL Lennon has told striker Leigh Griffiths to toe the line, or his Celtic future will be under threat.
The 23-year-old was punished by his club after footage emerged of him mocking Hearts with Hibs fans before last Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.
And Lennon warned that the former Hibs striker has to toe the line ‘otherwise his career at Celtic won’t be as long as he maybe wants it to be’, adding: “It was daft but he’s got to stop being daft.”
Lennon also confirmed the club will take action against midfielder Beram Kayal after comments he made in an interview with a newspaper criticising Scottish football, and expressing a desire to leave. (The Scotsman)
Hearts ‘can be force in Championship’
DESPITE their struggles, Hearts’ season in the top flight can give them the boost needed to shine in the Championship, according to David Smith.
The youngster believes that the Tynecastle club have a good team and if they can add a couple of players, will be a match for anyone.
More telling is that fact that, had Hearts not been slapped with a 15-point penalty for entering administration, then they would be just three points behind St Mirren and within nine points of the rest of the bottom six.
And Smith believes that if the club can retain their key players, they can win promotion from a Championship that will include Rangers. (Evening News)
Officials apologise to Hibs over disallowed goal
HIBS boss Terry Butcher has revealed he has received apologies from a linesman and the SFA’s head of referee development after Jordon Forster’s goal against Hearts in last weekend’s Derby was incorrectly ruled out.
Assistant referee Ally Ross flagged for offside against the young defender after his header beat Jamie MacDonald to level scores with just eight minutes remaining - and Hearts substitute Billy King made it 2-0 just minutes later.
Butcher revealed: “I got a text message from the linesman, Ally Ross, and from John Fleming, to say that it wasn’t the right decision, that it was a poor decision and they apologised. So that was tremendous.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had that before. It’s very nice, very good.
“It doesn’t make you feel better, but that’s the way it goes. I’ve got no axe to grind. But it was really nice to get an apology. I speak to John Fleming and he sometimes speaks to me in terms of what the referees do, but in this case he said ‘I have no arguments’ and that’s fair enough’.” (The Scotsman)
Motherwell linked with Craig Gordon
STUART MCCALL has played down reports that Motherwell are keeping an eye on fit-again former Hearts and Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon.
Gordon has been training with Rangers after a second operation on damaged knee tendons, and has been without a club for the past two years but McCall told The Courier: “I believe Craig is in at Rangers and looking fit and sharp. I would imagine, if his fitness isn’t in question, he will have far bigger clubs than us chasing him. It’s an interesting one, but all the goalkeeping dealings are down to (goalkeeping coach) Gordon Marshall.”
Motherwell have found success with the likes of Darren Randolph and John Ruddy in recent years, but the club have faced something of a goalkeeping dilemma this season, with Gunnar Nielsen struggling for form and Lee Hollis sidelined by injury. (The Courier)
Vernon keen for Dons stay; Hayes could make semi
SCOTT Vernon is the latest Aberdeen player to express a desire to stay in the north east. The striker’s contract is up in the summer but Vernon has indicated his keenness to stay.
He said: “I’ve not had any discussions with the club about that yet. But I love playing for the club and I enjoy coming to work at Pittodrie every day.”
Shaleum Logan, Barry Robson and Russell Anderson have all stated their intent to sign news deals.
And winger Jonny Hayes could make a surprise comeback in the Dons’ Scottish Cup semi-final against St Johnstone after recovering quicker than expected from a collarbone injury during the League Cup win over Inverness CT.
Boyd’s focus on Kilmarnock
KRIS Boyd has stressed that he will not make a decision about his future until he makes sure Kilmarnock are safe.
Boyd has been linked with a return to Rangers, as well as with clubs in England, but Boyd insisted: “I have not spoken to anyone and that’s the way it will stay until the end of the season. I want to stay fully focused, score as many goals as possible and hopefully help Kilmarnock stay in this division.”