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New Scotland manager must prioritise making headway in inaugural Uefa Nations League

Whoever is installed as the next Scotland manager – and David Moyes is still favourite with most bookmakers – his priority will be making headway in the inaugural Uefa Nations League, according to SFA chief executive Stewart Regan. The format of the tournament is abstruse but it feeds into the next European Championship, for which Hampden Park will be a host venue, hence its importance – especially after Scotland’s failure to make the World Cup play-offs. “There are Euro 2020 places linked to the Nations League and each of the four leagues, and Scotland are top seeds in Group C, the third tier,” said Regan. “One team from that third tier will come through to Euro 2020. “We’ve got two chances, so those Nations games will be really important. We won’t go into them thinking they are friendly matches. They are absolutely essential for us to have a second chance of making the tournament.  “We’re entering an interesting phase, starting in 2018, because of the new competition formats and the way that the Nations League works, followed by the qualifiers, followed by the Nations League. Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup Credit: AP “It potentially produces a situation when you’ll have feast and famine years. In the Nations League we’ll be playing matches on friendly dates in a new competitive format against teams of a similar standard. The potential is the attendances might not be as great as they would be if you were playing a glamour side like Germany or Spain, or one of the big six. “That’s got the potential to have an impact on revenue streams. In terms of the most recent times, it would have been great to do a Wales or a Northern Ireland. I think in Wales’ case they brought in €18 million from reaching the semi-finals of the Euros. “Probably half of that in the case of Northern Ireland. But we are where we are and have our own resources, supplemented by income from Fifa and Uefa, as well as the public sector. We do what we feel is the right thing to develop the game within that.” The SFA board was the target for critical – and sometimes abusive – comment on social media for their decision to appoint Malky MacKay as interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands for a friendly at Pittodrie on November 9. MacKay, was involved in email exchanges, some of which contained racist, misogynist and homophobic comments, with the director of recruitment at Cardiff when both men were employed by the club. Malky MacKay is interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands Credit: AFP After apologising for his behaviour and attending diversity and inclusion classes, MacKay was appointed as the SFA’s performance director. Of MacKay’s duties next month, Regan said: “It’s about Malky’s experience as a football manager and asking him to step up on an exceptional basis to lead the team for a friendly. “We wanted someone who could manage a group of players and he knows a lot of them already. It’s simply a case of using the resources we have to take the team for a friendly match. “Malky’s our performance director and has one of the most senior roles within the organisation. He’s been a breath of fresh air since coming to the Scottish FA. He’s very well respected and gets on well with the clubs, from academy to chief executive and chairman level. He’s been a fantastic recruit.” The league season resumed after the international break with Celtic bidding for a 59th successive domestic fixture unbeaten when they hosted Dundee. Brendan Rodgers made several changes to his regular line-up, with Dorus De Vries making his first appearance in goal this season, and appearances for Cristian Gamboa and Eboue Kouassi. The personnel switches seemed to blunt Celtic’s customary incisiveness, with only a curling effort from Callum McGregor, which went wide of the far post, plus a drive by Scott Sinclair into the arms of Scott Bain to show for their work. Dundee, though, could not take advantage of the Hoops’ muted threat and De Vries dealt with the single alarm in his box with a comfortable clutch from a shot from A-Jay Leitch-Smith. De Vries earned his corn with two superlative saves from powerful close-range efforts by Paul McGowan and Roary Deacon midway through the second half, by which point Celtic had taken the lead through a low, swirling finish from Olivier Ntcham. Aberdeen, meanwhile, stayed level on points with the leaders with a victory over Hibernian in an absorbing contest at Easter Road, where Gary Mackay-Steven settled the issue with his first league goal of the season for the Dons. Elsewhere, Motherwell beat Hamilton 2-1 in the Lanarkshire derby, as did Hearts against Ross County in Dingwall and Partick Thistle went bottom in a 2-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at the Energy Check Stadium.

New Scotland manager must prioritise making headway in inaugural Uefa Nations League

Whoever is installed as the next Scotland manager – and David Moyes is still favourite with most bookmakers – his priority will be making headway in the inaugural Uefa Nations League, according to SFA chief executive Stewart Regan. The format of the tournament is abstruse but it feeds into the next European Championship, for which Hampden Park will be a host venue, hence its importance – especially after Scotland’s failure to make the World Cup play-offs. “There are Euro 2020 places linked to the Nations League and each of the four leagues, and Scotland are top seeds in Group C, the third tier,” said Regan. “One team from that third tier will come through to Euro 2020. “We’ve got two chances, so those Nations games will be really important. We won’t go into them thinking they are friendly matches. They are absolutely essential for us to have a second chance of making the tournament.  “We’re entering an interesting phase, starting in 2018, because of the new competition formats and the way that the Nations League works, followed by the qualifiers, followed by the Nations League. Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup Credit: AP “It potentially produces a situation when you’ll have feast and famine years. In the Nations League we’ll be playing matches on friendly dates in a new competitive format against teams of a similar standard. The potential is the attendances might not be as great as they would be if you were playing a glamour side like Germany or Spain, or one of the big six. “That’s got the potential to have an impact on revenue streams. In terms of the most recent times, it would have been great to do a Wales or a Northern Ireland. I think in Wales’ case they brought in €18 million from reaching the semi-finals of the Euros. “Probably half of that in the case of Northern Ireland. But we are where we are and have our own resources, supplemented by income from Fifa and Uefa, as well as the public sector. We do what we feel is the right thing to develop the game within that.” The SFA board was the target for critical – and sometimes abusive – comment on social media for their decision to appoint Malky MacKay as interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands for a friendly at Pittodrie on November 9. MacKay, was involved in email exchanges, some of which contained racist, misogynist and homophobic comments, with the director of recruitment at Cardiff when both men were employed by the club. Malky MacKay is interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands Credit: AFP After apologising for his behaviour and attending diversity and inclusion classes, MacKay was appointed as the SFA’s performance director. Of MacKay’s duties next month, Regan said: “It’s about Malky’s experience as a football manager and asking him to step up on an exceptional basis to lead the team for a friendly. “We wanted someone who could manage a group of players and he knows a lot of them already. It’s simply a case of using the resources we have to take the team for a friendly match. “Malky’s our performance director and has one of the most senior roles within the organisation. He’s been a breath of fresh air since coming to the Scottish FA. He’s very well respected and gets on well with the clubs, from academy to chief executive and chairman level. He’s been a fantastic recruit.” The league season resumed after the international break with Celtic bidding for a 59th successive domestic fixture unbeaten when they hosted Dundee. Brendan Rodgers made several changes to his regular line-up, with Dorus De Vries making his first appearance in goal this season, and appearances for Cristian Gamboa and Eboue Kouassi. The personnel switches seemed to blunt Celtic’s customary incisiveness, with only a curling effort from Callum McGregor, which went wide of the far post, plus a drive by Scott Sinclair into the arms of Scott Bain to show for their work. Dundee, though, could not take advantage of the Hoops’ muted threat and De Vries dealt with the single alarm in his box with a comfortable clutch from a shot from A-Jay Leitch-Smith. De Vries earned his corn with two superlative saves from powerful close-range efforts by Paul McGowan and Roary Deacon midway through the second half, by which point Celtic had taken the lead through a low, swirling finish from Olivier Ntcham. Aberdeen, meanwhile, stayed level on points with the leaders with a victory over Hibernian in an absorbing contest at Easter Road, where Gary Mackay-Steven settled the issue with his first league goal of the season for the Dons. Elsewhere, Motherwell beat Hamilton 2-1 in the Lanarkshire derby, as did Hearts against Ross County in Dingwall and Partick Thistle went bottom in a 2-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at the Energy Check Stadium.

New Scotland manager must prioritise making headway in inaugural Uefa Nations League

Whoever is installed as the next Scotland manager – and David Moyes is still favourite with most bookmakers – his priority will be making headway in the inaugural Uefa Nations League, according to SFA chief executive Stewart Regan. The format of the tournament is abstruse but it feeds into the next European Championship, for which Hampden Park will be a host venue, hence its importance – especially after Scotland’s failure to make the World Cup play-offs. “There are Euro 2020 places linked to the Nations League and each of the four leagues, and Scotland are top seeds in Group C, the third tier,” said Regan. “One team from that third tier will come through to Euro 2020. “We’ve got two chances, so those Nations games will be really important. We won’t go into them thinking they are friendly matches. They are absolutely essential for us to have a second chance of making the tournament.  “We’re entering an interesting phase, starting in 2018, because of the new competition formats and the way that the Nations League works, followed by the qualifiers, followed by the Nations League. Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup Credit: AP “It potentially produces a situation when you’ll have feast and famine years. In the Nations League we’ll be playing matches on friendly dates in a new competitive format against teams of a similar standard. The potential is the attendances might not be as great as they would be if you were playing a glamour side like Germany or Spain, or one of the big six. “That’s got the potential to have an impact on revenue streams. In terms of the most recent times, it would have been great to do a Wales or a Northern Ireland. I think in Wales’ case they brought in €18 million from reaching the semi-finals of the Euros. “Probably half of that in the case of Northern Ireland. But we are where we are and have our own resources, supplemented by income from Fifa and Uefa, as well as the public sector. We do what we feel is the right thing to develop the game within that.” The SFA board was the target for critical – and sometimes abusive – comment on social media for their decision to appoint Malky MacKay as interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands for a friendly at Pittodrie on November 9. MacKay, was involved in email exchanges, some of which contained racist, misogynist and homophobic comments, with the director of recruitment at Cardiff when both men were employed by the club. Malky MacKay is interim manager for the visit of the Netherlands Credit: AFP After apologising for his behaviour and attending diversity and inclusion classes, MacKay was appointed as the SFA’s performance director. Of MacKay’s duties next month, Regan said: “It’s about Malky’s experience as a football manager and asking him to step up on an exceptional basis to lead the team for a friendly. “We wanted someone who could manage a group of players and he knows a lot of them already. It’s simply a case of using the resources we have to take the team for a friendly match. “Malky’s our performance director and has one of the most senior roles within the organisation. He’s been a breath of fresh air since coming to the Scottish FA. He’s very well respected and gets on well with the clubs, from academy to chief executive and chairman level. He’s been a fantastic recruit.” The league season resumed after the international break with Celtic bidding for a 59th successive domestic fixture unbeaten when they hosted Dundee. Brendan Rodgers made several changes to his regular line-up, with Dorus De Vries making his first appearance in goal this season, and appearances for Cristian Gamboa and Eboue Kouassi. The personnel switches seemed to blunt Celtic’s customary incisiveness, with only a curling effort from Callum McGregor, which went wide of the far post, plus a drive by Scott Sinclair into the arms of Scott Bain to show for their work. Dundee, though, could not take advantage of the Hoops’ muted threat and De Vries dealt with the single alarm in his box with a comfortable clutch from a shot from A-Jay Leitch-Smith. De Vries earned his corn with two superlative saves from powerful close-range efforts by Paul McGowan and Roary Deacon midway through the second half, by which point Celtic had taken the lead through a low, swirling finish from Olivier Ntcham. Aberdeen, meanwhile, stayed level on points with the leaders with a victory over Hibernian in an absorbing contest at Easter Road, where Gary Mackay-Steven settled the issue with his first league goal of the season for the Dons. Elsewhere, Motherwell beat Hamilton 2-1 in the Lanarkshire derby, as did Hearts against Ross County in Dingwall and Partick Thistle went bottom in a 2-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at the Energy Check Stadium.

Brendan Rodgers leads continued Northern Irish dominance in Scotland

Scottish football made history on Saturday, although not of a sort that reflects well on native talent. For the first time, only one of the top six clubs in the table is managed by a Scot – Derek McInnes, of Aberdeen. Rangers’ Pedro Caixinha is Portuguese, while the other four – Brendan Rodgers (Celtic), Tommy Wright (St Johnstone), Stephen Robinson (Motherwell) and Neil Lennon (Hibernian) are Northern Irish. The situation is in stark contrast to the annus mirabilis of 2011 when, aside from the native complement at home, no fewer than seven Scots were in charge of Premier League clubs in England. They were Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Paul Lambert (Norwich City), Alex McLeish (Aston Villa), David Moyes (Everton), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool), Steve Kean (Blackburn Rovers) and Owen Coyle (Bolton Wanderers) - Scottish born, of Irish parents. Since then, Northern Irish football has flourished at international level under Michael O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh. “Michael’s done an incredible job with the international team,” Rodgers said. "Stevie Robinson’s starting out and Hibs look very much improved with Neil at the helm. I see a hunger and a desire and a shape to how they’re playing. Tommy Wright is another experienced coach and good manager. “In all of those guys, there’s real love and passion for football and, when you have that, you have a willingness to learn and improve and not just settle on what you’ve achieved.” Derek McInnes is the only Scot in the top six Credit: Getty images Lennon recently remarked on the phenomenon when he said: “The Scottish clubs have picked good managers. Brendan has been a revelation, so has Tommy, I have had my bit and now Stephen is cutting his teeth at Motherwell. I think there will be a few more coming through as well. “The Northern Ireland boys are a little bit of a throwback to the way the Scottish boys have been over the last 20 or 30 years. There is that real work ethic about us.” Rodgers’ Celtic are, of course, the exemplars of that doctrine, the evidence of which is their run of 58 successive domestic games unbeaten, but at one stage at Parkhead on Saturday it seemed that the extraordinary sequence would be ended by Lennon’s Hibs, who fell behind to a neatly worked goal by Callum McGregor after 15 minutes, but who recovered to take the lead with second half strikes from John McGinn. At that stage, many among the home support had recognised the irony that their team’s record was threatened by goals scored by the grandson of a former Celtic chairman, for a side under the guidance of a former Celtic manager. The scenario might have been fulfilled but for a supernatural save by Craig Gordon. Anthony Stokes – a former Celtic striker, of course – had flicked a header towards the back post, where it was met a yard or so from goal by Steven Whittaker with a shot that seemed certain to find the net. Gordon, though, somehow got a glove to the ball and diverted it for a corner to gasps and exclamations from both supports. Anthony Stokes described one of Craig Gordon's saves as 'a worldie' Credit: Getty images “As a striker, you hit shots and you think, ‘Goal – 100%!’ but he pulled off a worldie,” said Stokes of Gordon’s intervention. “That was him again - one of those you just think he’s never going to get. “It was flicked on and I’m just waiting on Whitts to turn it in, but Craig’s on it and it was an unbelievable save. Top, top class goalkeeper.” Asked if the block had been on a par with Gordon’s fabled stop from Zat Knight of Bolton Wanderers in 2010 - which was voted that season’s best save in the Premier League – Stokes said: “I’d have to see it again. “I thought it was a 100% goal but he ends up getting some hand on it. Keepers go through bad spells, like strikers when you’re not scoring, but that’s the standard he’s set throughout his career.” Gordon, meanwhile, confessed that he had not even realised Whittaker had been the thwarted opponent. “I didn’t know until after the game who had hit the shot,” he said. “I threw myself across it and made myself as big as possible and got a strong enough contact on it to put it round the post. “It was a certain goal from that distance and I managed to prevent it, so it’s probably the same feeling as a striker gets when he scores a goal.” There was, though, another goal in the contest, a second from McGregor which settled the outcome at 2-2. The midfielder has now been called to replace his injured club captain, Scott Brown, for Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Slovenia. The Scots must win both to reach the playoffs, unlike O’Neill’s Northern Ireland, who have almost guaranteed that status despite their marginal resources.

Brendan Rodgers leads continued Northern Irish dominance in Scotland

Scottish football made history on Saturday, although not of a sort that reflects well on native talent. For the first time, only one of the top six clubs in the table is managed by a Scot – Derek McInnes, of Aberdeen. Rangers’ Pedro Caixinha is Portuguese, while the other four – Brendan Rodgers (Celtic), Tommy Wright (St Johnstone), Stephen Robinson (Motherwell) and Neil Lennon (Hibernian) are Northern Irish. The situation is in stark contrast to the annus mirabilis of 2011 when, aside from the native complement at home, no fewer than seven Scots were in charge of Premier League clubs in England. They were Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Paul Lambert (Norwich City), Alex McLeish (Aston Villa), David Moyes (Everton), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool), Steve Kean (Blackburn Rovers) and Owen Coyle (Bolton Wanderers) - Scottish born, of Irish parents. Since then, Northern Irish football has flourished at international level under Michael O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh. “Michael’s done an incredible job with the international team,” Rodgers said. "Stevie Robinson’s starting out and Hibs look very much improved with Neil at the helm. I see a hunger and a desire and a shape to how they’re playing. Tommy Wright is another experienced coach and good manager. “In all of those guys, there’s real love and passion for football and, when you have that, you have a willingness to learn and improve and not just settle on what you’ve achieved.” Derek McInnes is the only Scot in the top six Credit: Getty images Lennon recently remarked on the phenomenon when he said: “The Scottish clubs have picked good managers. Brendan has been a revelation, so has Tommy, I have had my bit and now Stephen is cutting his teeth at Motherwell. I think there will be a few more coming through as well. “The Northern Ireland boys are a little bit of a throwback to the way the Scottish boys have been over the last 20 or 30 years. There is that real work ethic about us.” Rodgers’ Celtic are, of course, the exemplars of that doctrine, the evidence of which is their run of 58 successive domestic games unbeaten, but at one stage at Parkhead on Saturday it seemed that the extraordinary sequence would be ended by Lennon’s Hibs, who fell behind to a neatly worked goal by Callum McGregor after 15 minutes, but who recovered to take the lead with second half strikes from John McGinn. At that stage, many among the home support had recognised the irony that their team’s record was threatened by goals scored by the grandson of a former Celtic chairman, for a side under the guidance of a former Celtic manager. The scenario might have been fulfilled but for a supernatural save by Craig Gordon. Anthony Stokes – a former Celtic striker, of course – had flicked a header towards the back post, where it was met a yard or so from goal by Steven Whittaker with a shot that seemed certain to find the net. Gordon, though, somehow got a glove to the ball and diverted it for a corner to gasps and exclamations from both supports. Anthony Stokes described one of Craig Gordon's saves as 'a worldie' Credit: Getty images “As a striker, you hit shots and you think, ‘Goal – 100%!’ but he pulled off a worldie,” said Stokes of Gordon’s intervention. “That was him again - one of those you just think he’s never going to get. “It was flicked on and I’m just waiting on Whitts to turn it in, but Craig’s on it and it was an unbelievable save. Top, top class goalkeeper.” Asked if the block had been on a par with Gordon’s fabled stop from Zat Knight of Bolton Wanderers in 2010 - which was voted that season’s best save in the Premier League – Stokes said: “I’d have to see it again. “I thought it was a 100% goal but he ends up getting some hand on it. Keepers go through bad spells, like strikers when you’re not scoring, but that’s the standard he’s set throughout his career.” Gordon, meanwhile, confessed that he had not even realised Whittaker had been the thwarted opponent. “I didn’t know until after the game who had hit the shot,” he said. “I threw myself across it and made myself as big as possible and got a strong enough contact on it to put it round the post. “It was a certain goal from that distance and I managed to prevent it, so it’s probably the same feeling as a striker gets when he scores a goal.” There was, though, another goal in the contest, a second from McGregor which settled the outcome at 2-2. The midfielder has now been called to replace his injured club captain, Scott Brown, for Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Slovenia. The Scots must win both to reach the playoffs, unlike O’Neill’s Northern Ireland, who have almost guaranteed that status despite their marginal resources.

Brendan Rodgers leads continued Northern Irish dominance in Scotland

Scottish football made history on Saturday, although not of a sort that reflects well on native talent. For the first time, only one of the top six clubs in the table is managed by a Scot – Derek McInnes, of Aberdeen. Rangers’ Pedro Caixinha is Portuguese, while the other four – Brendan Rodgers (Celtic), Tommy Wright (St Johnstone), Stephen Robinson (Motherwell) and Neil Lennon (Hibernian) are Northern Irish. The situation is in stark contrast to the annus mirabilis of 2011 when, aside from the native complement at home, no fewer than seven Scots were in charge of Premier League clubs in England. They were Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Paul Lambert (Norwich City), Alex McLeish (Aston Villa), David Moyes (Everton), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool), Steve Kean (Blackburn Rovers) and Owen Coyle (Bolton Wanderers) - Scottish born, of Irish parents. Since then, Northern Irish football has flourished at international level under Michael O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh. “Michael’s done an incredible job with the international team,” Rodgers said. "Stevie Robinson’s starting out and Hibs look very much improved with Neil at the helm. I see a hunger and a desire and a shape to how they’re playing. Tommy Wright is another experienced coach and good manager. “In all of those guys, there’s real love and passion for football and, when you have that, you have a willingness to learn and improve and not just settle on what you’ve achieved.” Derek McInnes is the only Scot in the top six Credit: Getty images Lennon recently remarked on the phenomenon when he said: “The Scottish clubs have picked good managers. Brendan has been a revelation, so has Tommy, I have had my bit and now Stephen is cutting his teeth at Motherwell. I think there will be a few more coming through as well. “The Northern Ireland boys are a little bit of a throwback to the way the Scottish boys have been over the last 20 or 30 years. There is that real work ethic about us.” Rodgers’ Celtic are, of course, the exemplars of that doctrine, the evidence of which is their run of 58 successive domestic games unbeaten, but at one stage at Parkhead on Saturday it seemed that the extraordinary sequence would be ended by Lennon’s Hibs, who fell behind to a neatly worked goal by Callum McGregor after 15 minutes, but who recovered to take the lead with second half strikes from John McGinn. At that stage, many among the home support had recognised the irony that their team’s record was threatened by goals scored by the grandson of a former Celtic chairman, for a side under the guidance of a former Celtic manager. The scenario might have been fulfilled but for a supernatural save by Craig Gordon. Anthony Stokes – a former Celtic striker, of course – had flicked a header towards the back post, where it was met a yard or so from goal by Steven Whittaker with a shot that seemed certain to find the net. Gordon, though, somehow got a glove to the ball and diverted it for a corner to gasps and exclamations from both supports. Anthony Stokes described one of Craig Gordon's saves as 'a worldie' Credit: Getty images “As a striker, you hit shots and you think, ‘Goal – 100%!’ but he pulled off a worldie,” said Stokes of Gordon’s intervention. “That was him again - one of those you just think he’s never going to get. “It was flicked on and I’m just waiting on Whitts to turn it in, but Craig’s on it and it was an unbelievable save. Top, top class goalkeeper.” Asked if the block had been on a par with Gordon’s fabled stop from Zat Knight of Bolton Wanderers in 2010 - which was voted that season’s best save in the Premier League – Stokes said: “I’d have to see it again. “I thought it was a 100% goal but he ends up getting some hand on it. Keepers go through bad spells, like strikers when you’re not scoring, but that’s the standard he’s set throughout his career.” Gordon, meanwhile, confessed that he had not even realised Whittaker had been the thwarted opponent. “I didn’t know until after the game who had hit the shot,” he said. “I threw myself across it and made myself as big as possible and got a strong enough contact on it to put it round the post. “It was a certain goal from that distance and I managed to prevent it, so it’s probably the same feeling as a striker gets when he scores a goal.” There was, though, another goal in the contest, a second from McGregor which settled the outcome at 2-2. The midfielder has now been called to replace his injured club captain, Scott Brown, for Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Slovenia. The Scots must win both to reach the playoffs, unlike O’Neill’s Northern Ireland, who have almost guaranteed that status despite their marginal resources.

Chris Sutton flattened by sliding tackle during live BT Sport coverage

Motherwell legend Stephen Craigan fulfilled a dream held by football fans across the country by flattening motor-mouth pundit Chris Sutton with a sliding tackle.  The former Chelsea and Celtic striker was discussing the weekend's Scottish football with BT Sport presenter Darrell Currie when Craignan ran in from out of shot and cleaned him out.  Sutton spent Saturday crowing over Celtic's 2-0 win the season's first Old Firm derby at Ibrox, and was on duty again on Sunday for live coverage of Motherwell's home game against Aberdeen.  Clearly, with the cameras rolling the incident was rather contrived but Sutton appeared to have felt the full force of the challenge as his notes went flying and he ended up prostrate on the turf.  Sutton's sardonic tone and Grumpy Old Man style of punditry has divided audiences, and it is not the first time he and Craigan have collided on camera.  ������@chris_sutton73 is wiped out by Stephen Craigan! Disgraceful challenge �� pic.twitter.com/P4wi1p2A6M— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) September 24, 2017 The pair argued last year about Hearts' appointment of Ian Cathro, who became the youngest manager in Scottish football. Cathro, sacked within months of getting the job, was often ridiculed for his background as an analyst.  Craigan and Sutton argued vociferously about his suitability for the role, with Sutton accusing the former Motherwell man of 'jealousy'. Sutton said: "Why is it brave? He's had four years of experience at Valencia and Newcastle." Craigan then intervened and Sutton told him, "He's better qualified than you Crags." Craigan -clearly angered by this jibe - hit back and said "He's hasn't got his pro licence and I have, so there."  

Dundee 0 Celtic 4: Holders cruise into semi-final with comfortable win

Despite the cloudburst which preceded this Betfred Cup tie, there were no slips by Celtic at Dens Park as they cruised past Dundee into the semi-final draw, to be made after Motherwell and Aberdeen meet in Lanarkshire this evening. The holders scarcely had to exert themselves after they established a secure advantage with a double from James Forrest and contributions from Scott Sinclair and Callum McGregor. The exercise was effectively a pleasant warm-up before the two high profile contests which appear next on Celtic’s schedule, when the short trip to Ibrox for the first Old Firm derby of the campaign is followed by a European expedition to face Anderlecht in Brussels. Juggling the demands of defending the three Scottish honours as well as attempting to gain a toehold in the Champions League group stage, Brendan Rodgers made six changes to the side who cruised to a 4-0 home league victory over Ross County at the weekend. Most notably, Dedryck Boyata made his first appearance of the season with a welcome return to central defence. Mikael Lustig, Olivier Ntcham, Scott Sinclair, Kieran Tierney and Patrick Roberts were also restored after being rested against County, with Anthony Ralston, Stuart Armstrong, Tom Rogic, Jonny Hayes on the bench and Jozo Simunovic and Moussa Dembele granted a breather. Dundee, with no comparable resources, featured two personnel switches, with Roarie Deacon and Moussa Sofien replaced by Randy Wolters and Mark O'Hara. Sinclair opens the scoring from the spot Credit: Getty images Wolters featured in the referee’s notebook midway through the first half when he clattered Sinclair, who otherwise looked very difficult to stop as he made repeated assaults on the Dundee defence, another of which saw the winger toppled by Jack Hendry inside the box for a penalty kick that was disputed hotly by the centre-back. Sinclair stroked his conversion efficiently past Scott Bain to garnish Celtic’s 70% share of possession and he was joined on the scoresheet by his counterpart on the right flank shortly before the interval. In this instance, the graft was put in by Kieran Tierney with an overlapping sprint and cutback which was met by Forrest on the slide for a shot which beat Bain from eight yards. Neil McCann, the Dundee manager, had said beforehand that if his players went toe-to-toe with Celtic they would surely lose, yet by half time he could reflect that if they had taken their clear chances they would have been level at the break. The first arrived on the quarter-hour when a mistake by Boyata allowed A-Jay Leitch-Smith to surge clear inside the Celtic half with only Craig Gordon ahead of him but the striker did not have the acceleration to elude Scott Brown’s tracking run and he was forced wide by the Hoops skipper for a tame shot at the goalkeeper. James Forrest doubled Celtic's lead Credit: Getty images Faissal El-Bakhtaoui likewise should have found the Celtic net when he made a blindside run towards a Wolters cross aimed to dip just in front of the back post but, with only a simple contact required to score, the Moroccan forward got his timing wrong and merely knocked the ball into Gordon’s hands.  Dundee could not contrive any greater threat in what remained of the contest and Celtic were able to conserve their resources by replacing Boyata with Ralston, Roberts with McGregor and Griffiths with Odsonne Edouard as they coasted to a 56th successive unbeaten fixture in domestic competitions. The action continued to the end, however, as Dundee suffered the indignity of conceding another two goals in the closing moments, first from McGregor’s low angled effort and then when Forrest drove through a ruck of players for his second.

Dundee 0 Celtic 4: Holders cruise into semi-final with comfortable win

Despite the cloudburst which preceded this Betfred Cup tie, there were no slips by Celtic at Dens Park as they cruised past Dundee into the semi-final draw, to be made after Motherwell and Aberdeen meet in Lanarkshire this evening. The holders scarcely had to exert themselves after they established a secure advantage with a double from James Forrest and contributions from Scott Sinclair and Callum McGregor. The exercise was effectively a pleasant warm-up before the two high profile contests which appear next on Celtic’s schedule, when the short trip to Ibrox for the first Old Firm derby of the campaign is followed by a European expedition to face Anderlecht in Brussels. Juggling the demands of defending the three Scottish honours as well as attempting to gain a toehold in the Champions League group stage, Brendan Rodgers made six changes to the side who cruised to a 4-0 home league victory over Ross County at the weekend. Most notably, Dedryck Boyata made his first appearance of the season with a welcome return to central defence. Mikael Lustig, Olivier Ntcham, Scott Sinclair, Kieran Tierney and Patrick Roberts were also restored after being rested against County, with Anthony Ralston, Stuart Armstrong, Tom Rogic, Jonny Hayes on the bench and Jozo Simunovic and Moussa Dembele granted a breather. Dundee, with no comparable resources, featured two personnel switches, with Roarie Deacon and Moussa Sofien replaced by Randy Wolters and Mark O'Hara. Sinclair opens the scoring from the spot Credit: Getty images Wolters featured in the referee’s notebook midway through the first half when he clattered Sinclair, who otherwise looked very difficult to stop as he made repeated assaults on the Dundee defence, another of which saw the winger toppled by Jack Hendry inside the box for a penalty kick that was disputed hotly by the centre-back. Sinclair stroked his conversion efficiently past Scott Bain to garnish Celtic’s 70% share of possession and he was joined on the scoresheet by his counterpart on the right flank shortly before the interval. In this instance, the graft was put in by Kieran Tierney with an overlapping sprint and cutback which was met by Forrest on the slide for a shot which beat Bain from eight yards. Neil McCann, the Dundee manager, had said beforehand that if his players went toe-to-toe with Celtic they would surely lose, yet by half time he could reflect that if they had taken their clear chances they would have been level at the break. The first arrived on the quarter-hour when a mistake by Boyata allowed A-Jay Leitch-Smith to surge clear inside the Celtic half with only Craig Gordon ahead of him but the striker did not have the acceleration to elude Scott Brown’s tracking run and he was forced wide by the Hoops skipper for a tame shot at the goalkeeper. James Forrest doubled Celtic's lead Credit: Getty images Faissal El-Bakhtaoui likewise should have found the Celtic net when he made a blindside run towards a Wolters cross aimed to dip just in front of the back post but, with only a simple contact required to score, the Moroccan forward got his timing wrong and merely knocked the ball into Gordon’s hands.  Dundee could not contrive any greater threat in what remained of the contest and Celtic were able to conserve their resources by replacing Boyata with Ralston, Roberts with McGregor and Griffiths with Odsonne Edouard as they coasted to a 56th successive unbeaten fixture in domestic competitions. The action continued to the end, however, as Dundee suffered the indignity of conceding another two goals in the closing moments, first from McGregor’s low angled effort and then when Forrest drove through a ruck of players for his second.

Dundee 0 Celtic 4: Holders cruise into semi-final with comfortable win

Despite the cloudburst which preceded this Betfred Cup tie, there were no slips by Celtic at Dens Park as they cruised past Dundee into the semi-final draw, to be made after Motherwell and Aberdeen meet in Lanarkshire this evening. The holders scarcely had to exert themselves after they established a secure advantage with a double from James Forrest and contributions from Scott Sinclair and Callum McGregor. The exercise was effectively a pleasant warm-up before the two high profile contests which appear next on Celtic’s schedule, when the short trip to Ibrox for the first Old Firm derby of the campaign is followed by a European expedition to face Anderlecht in Brussels. Juggling the demands of defending the three Scottish honours as well as attempting to gain a toehold in the Champions League group stage, Brendan Rodgers made six changes to the side who cruised to a 4-0 home league victory over Ross County at the weekend. Most notably, Dedryck Boyata made his first appearance of the season with a welcome return to central defence. Mikael Lustig, Olivier Ntcham, Scott Sinclair, Kieran Tierney and Patrick Roberts were also restored after being rested against County, with Anthony Ralston, Stuart Armstrong, Tom Rogic, Jonny Hayes on the bench and Jozo Simunovic and Moussa Dembele granted a breather. Dundee, with no comparable resources, featured two personnel switches, with Roarie Deacon and Moussa Sofien replaced by Randy Wolters and Mark O'Hara. Sinclair opens the scoring from the spot Credit: Getty images Wolters featured in the referee’s notebook midway through the first half when he clattered Sinclair, who otherwise looked very difficult to stop as he made repeated assaults on the Dundee defence, another of which saw the winger toppled by Jack Hendry inside the box for a penalty kick that was disputed hotly by the centre-back. Sinclair stroked his conversion efficiently past Scott Bain to garnish Celtic’s 70% share of possession and he was joined on the scoresheet by his counterpart on the right flank shortly before the interval. In this instance, the graft was put in by Kieran Tierney with an overlapping sprint and cutback which was met by Forrest on the slide for a shot which beat Bain from eight yards. Neil McCann, the Dundee manager, had said beforehand that if his players went toe-to-toe with Celtic they would surely lose, yet by half time he could reflect that if they had taken their clear chances they would have been level at the break. The first arrived on the quarter-hour when a mistake by Boyata allowed A-Jay Leitch-Smith to surge clear inside the Celtic half with only Craig Gordon ahead of him but the striker did not have the acceleration to elude Scott Brown’s tracking run and he was forced wide by the Hoops skipper for a tame shot at the goalkeeper. James Forrest doubled Celtic's lead Credit: Getty images Faissal El-Bakhtaoui likewise should have found the Celtic net when he made a blindside run towards a Wolters cross aimed to dip just in front of the back post but, with only a simple contact required to score, the Moroccan forward got his timing wrong and merely knocked the ball into Gordon’s hands.  Dundee could not contrive any greater threat in what remained of the contest and Celtic were able to conserve their resources by replacing Boyata with Ralston, Roberts with McGregor and Griffiths with Odsonne Edouard as they coasted to a 56th successive unbeaten fixture in domestic competitions. The action continued to the end, however, as Dundee suffered the indignity of conceding another two goals in the closing moments, first from McGregor’s low angled effort and then when Forrest drove through a ruck of players for his second.

Celtic's Brendan Rodgers declares Rangers 'title contenders' as the build-up to Old Firm derby begins

As Celtic moved five points ahead of Rangers prior to the first Old Firm derby of the season at Ibrox, Brendan Rodgers branded next Saturday’s game a contest between title contenders, despite the gap that has already opened between the pair in the table. Rangers had to come from behind to earn a point in the 2-2 draw with Partick Thistle at Firhill on Friday and could not prevail despite playing against 10 men for the final quarter of the proceedings. Indeed, Pedro Caixinha’s players will go into their collision with the champions in third place after Saturday's results in the Scottish Premiership. Nevertheless, the Hoops manager cited the difference in summer transfer fees – Rangers’ outlay was an estimated £8 million, compared with Celtic’s £5.5 million, although the figures are arguable – as evidence that the Ibrox board were aiming to prise the Scottish title from the other side of Glasgow. "I’ve seen a little bit of Rangers,” Rodgers said. “Pedro obviously came in during the season and was able to assess and look at different methods in which they can try to work and play. Humbled: Neymar and company gave Celtic a harsh lesson midweek Credit: AFP “They have clearly spent money in the summer. They spent more money than us – and we are a Champions League club - so that tells you that their idea is to win the league. It’s not to finish third. Not to finish second above Aberdeen. It’s to win the league. “They have come into the season with that mentality. They have signed some good players and are playing a basic shape in terms of 4-4-2, nothing complicated, get the ball wide, crosses in the box. I’m sure they will be reasonably happy with how they have started.” Celtic’s 5-1 victory at Ibrox was widely viewed as a tactical blunder by Caixinha, who chose to deploy Rangers with a midfield diamond, through which the champions romped to establish a record victory on the ground of their arch-foes. Rodgers, though, declared that the Rangers line-up had not been novel in the circumstances, despite Caixinha’s adoption of 4-4-2 this season. Keep smiling: Pedro Caixinha arrives for the Scottish Premiership match at The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill Credit: PA “A lot of the European coaches will have different ways. I’m not sure 4-4-2 is what Pedro would purely like to play,” he said. “I think he is looking at what he’s got and how he can maximise what he gets from the players. “They played with a diamond, looking to have numbers in midfield and two front players. It’s flatter now in terms of how they are playing it, but their intention, I’m sure, is to win the league and what they have spent is a mark of that.” The Celtic boss, however, acknowledged that – having beaten Rangers in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final a week previously, the 5-1 rout had capped a deeply satisfying passage. “It was great week,” he said. “We went into the semi-final and were outstanding – our performance level in every facet was very good. At Ibrox the feeling was that we would be under severe pressure from their play and the crowd and there was no way we could go and play like we did in the semi. “For the players to go out and handle that side of it and perform like they did and actually be disappointed we only scored five made the performance outstanding.” April, the cruellest month: Celtic won 5-1 on their last visit to Ibrox Credit: Reuters So dominant were Celtic last time out at Ibrox that the home support began to make for the exits midway through the second half. “For every manager and player, it is feeling that you are working well. You are doing your job if the game is over by 65, 70 minutes,” Rodgers said. “In a 90-minute game you can take huge credit for how you are playing at that stage. If you are going to Ibrox and doing that against one of the great rivals and performing at that level, which was key for me, it was pretty special.” Celtic, of course, conceded five goals in their midweek Champions League group stage opener at home to Paris Saint-Germain but normal service was resumed with the visit of Ross County, who found themselves behind to a Tom Rogic strike after 13 minutes. The Staggies fell further behind five minutes before the break when Moussa Dembele, on his first appearance this season, placed a low right foot drive into the far corner of the net. The restart brought no relief for County as Celtic hit them on the counter from a memorable double save by Craig Gordon from Craig Curran and Alex Schalk. James Forrest netted on the rebound from a Rogic effort and scored Celtic’s fourth and his second after Oddsone Edouard’s prompt. Elsewhere, Aberdeen were held 1-1 at home to Kilmarnock, Hearts’ first victory under Craig Levein was a 2-1 win at Hamilton, while Hibs drew 2-2 with Motherwell at Easter Road and Dundee were 3-2 winners against Tayside neighbours, St Johnstone.

Celtic's Brendan Rodgers declares Rangers 'title contenders' as the build-up to Old Firm derby begins

As Celtic moved five points ahead of Rangers prior to the first Old Firm derby of the season at Ibrox, Brendan Rodgers branded next Saturday’s game a contest between title contenders, despite the gap that has already opened between the pair in the table. Rangers had to come from behind to earn a point in the 2-2 draw with Partick Thistle at Firhill on Friday and could not prevail despite playing against 10 men for the final quarter of the proceedings. Indeed, Pedro Caixinha’s players will go into their collision with the champions in third place after Saturday's results in the Scottish Premiership. Nevertheless, the Hoops manager cited the difference in summer transfer fees – Rangers’ outlay was an estimated £8 million, compared with Celtic’s £5.5 million, although the figures are arguable – as evidence that the Ibrox board were aiming to prise the Scottish title from the other side of Glasgow. "I’ve seen a little bit of Rangers,” Rodgers said. “Pedro obviously came in during the season and was able to assess and look at different methods in which they can try to work and play. Humbled: Neymar and company gave Celtic a harsh lesson midweek Credit: AFP “They have clearly spent money in the summer. They spent more money than us – and we are a Champions League club - so that tells you that their idea is to win the league. It’s not to finish third. Not to finish second above Aberdeen. It’s to win the league. “They have come into the season with that mentality. They have signed some good players and are playing a basic shape in terms of 4-4-2, nothing complicated, get the ball wide, crosses in the box. I’m sure they will be reasonably happy with how they have started.” Celtic’s 5-1 victory at Ibrox was widely viewed as a tactical blunder by Caixinha, who chose to deploy Rangers with a midfield diamond, through which the champions romped to establish a record victory on the ground of their arch-foes. Rodgers, though, declared that the Rangers line-up had not been novel in the circumstances, despite Caixinha’s adoption of 4-4-2 this season. Keep smiling: Pedro Caixinha arrives for the Scottish Premiership match at The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill Credit: PA “A lot of the European coaches will have different ways. I’m not sure 4-4-2 is what Pedro would purely like to play,” he said. “I think he is looking at what he’s got and how he can maximise what he gets from the players. “They played with a diamond, looking to have numbers in midfield and two front players. It’s flatter now in terms of how they are playing it, but their intention, I’m sure, is to win the league and what they have spent is a mark of that.” The Celtic boss, however, acknowledged that – having beaten Rangers in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final a week previously, the 5-1 rout had capped a deeply satisfying passage. “It was great week,” he said. “We went into the semi-final and were outstanding – our performance level in every facet was very good. At Ibrox the feeling was that we would be under severe pressure from their play and the crowd and there was no way we could go and play like we did in the semi. “For the players to go out and handle that side of it and perform like they did and actually be disappointed we only scored five made the performance outstanding.” April, the cruellest month: Celtic won 5-1 on their last visit to Ibrox Credit: Reuters So dominant were Celtic last time out at Ibrox that the home support began to make for the exits midway through the second half. “For every manager and player, it is feeling that you are working well. You are doing your job if the game is over by 65, 70 minutes,” Rodgers said. “In a 90-minute game you can take huge credit for how you are playing at that stage. If you are going to Ibrox and doing that against one of the great rivals and performing at that level, which was key for me, it was pretty special.” Celtic, of course, conceded five goals in their midweek Champions League group stage opener at home to Paris Saint-Germain but normal service was resumed with the visit of Ross County, who found themselves behind to a Tom Rogic strike after 13 minutes. The Staggies fell further behind five minutes before the break when Moussa Dembele, on his first appearance this season, placed a low right foot drive into the far corner of the net. The restart brought no relief for County as Celtic hit them on the counter from a memorable double save by Craig Gordon from Craig Curran and Alex Schalk. James Forrest netted on the rebound from a Rogic effort and scored Celtic’s fourth and his second after Oddsone Edouard’s prompt. Elsewhere, Aberdeen were held 1-1 at home to Kilmarnock, Hearts’ first victory under Craig Levein was a 2-1 win at Hamilton, while Hibs drew 2-2 with Motherwell at Easter Road and Dundee were 3-2 winners against Tayside neighbours, St Johnstone.

Celtic's Brendan Rodgers declares Rangers 'title contenders' as the build-up to Old Firm derby begins

As Celtic moved five points ahead of Rangers prior to the first Old Firm derby of the season at Ibrox, Brendan Rodgers branded next Saturday’s game a contest between title contenders, despite the gap that has already opened between the pair in the table. Rangers had to come from behind to earn a point in the 2-2 draw with Partick Thistle at Firhill on Friday and could not prevail despite playing against 10 men for the final quarter of the proceedings. Indeed, Pedro Caixinha’s players will go into their collision with the champions in third place after Saturday's results in the Scottish Premiership. Nevertheless, the Hoops manager cited the difference in summer transfer fees – Rangers’ outlay was an estimated £8 million, compared with Celtic’s £5.5 million, although the figures are arguable – as evidence that the Ibrox board were aiming to prise the Scottish title from the other side of Glasgow. "I’ve seen a little bit of Rangers,” Rodgers said. “Pedro obviously came in during the season and was able to assess and look at different methods in which they can try to work and play. Humbled: Neymar and company gave Celtic a harsh lesson midweek Credit: AFP “They have clearly spent money in the summer. They spent more money than us – and we are a Champions League club - so that tells you that their idea is to win the league. It’s not to finish third. Not to finish second above Aberdeen. It’s to win the league. “They have come into the season with that mentality. They have signed some good players and are playing a basic shape in terms of 4-4-2, nothing complicated, get the ball wide, crosses in the box. I’m sure they will be reasonably happy with how they have started.” Celtic’s 5-1 victory at Ibrox was widely viewed as a tactical blunder by Caixinha, who chose to deploy Rangers with a midfield diamond, through which the champions romped to establish a record victory on the ground of their arch-foes. Rodgers, though, declared that the Rangers line-up had not been novel in the circumstances, despite Caixinha’s adoption of 4-4-2 this season. Keep smiling: Pedro Caixinha arrives for the Scottish Premiership match at The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill Credit: PA “A lot of the European coaches will have different ways. I’m not sure 4-4-2 is what Pedro would purely like to play,” he said. “I think he is looking at what he’s got and how he can maximise what he gets from the players. “They played with a diamond, looking to have numbers in midfield and two front players. It’s flatter now in terms of how they are playing it, but their intention, I’m sure, is to win the league and what they have spent is a mark of that.” The Celtic boss, however, acknowledged that – having beaten Rangers in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final a week previously, the 5-1 rout had capped a deeply satisfying passage. “It was great week,” he said. “We went into the semi-final and were outstanding – our performance level in every facet was very good. At Ibrox the feeling was that we would be under severe pressure from their play and the crowd and there was no way we could go and play like we did in the semi. “For the players to go out and handle that side of it and perform like they did and actually be disappointed we only scored five made the performance outstanding.” April, the cruellest month: Celtic won 5-1 on their last visit to Ibrox Credit: Reuters So dominant were Celtic last time out at Ibrox that the home support began to make for the exits midway through the second half. “For every manager and player, it is feeling that you are working well. You are doing your job if the game is over by 65, 70 minutes,” Rodgers said. “In a 90-minute game you can take huge credit for how you are playing at that stage. If you are going to Ibrox and doing that against one of the great rivals and performing at that level, which was key for me, it was pretty special.” Celtic, of course, conceded five goals in their midweek Champions League group stage opener at home to Paris Saint-Germain but normal service was resumed with the visit of Ross County, who found themselves behind to a Tom Rogic strike after 13 minutes. The Staggies fell further behind five minutes before the break when Moussa Dembele, on his first appearance this season, placed a low right foot drive into the far corner of the net. The restart brought no relief for County as Celtic hit them on the counter from a memorable double save by Craig Gordon from Craig Curran and Alex Schalk. James Forrest netted on the rebound from a Rogic effort and scored Celtic’s fourth and his second after Oddsone Edouard’s prompt. Elsewhere, Aberdeen were held 1-1 at home to Kilmarnock, Hearts’ first victory under Craig Levein was a 2-1 win at Hamilton, while Hibs drew 2-2 with Motherwell at Easter Road and Dundee were 3-2 winners against Tayside neighbours, St Johnstone.

Celtic's Brendan Rodgers declares Rangers 'title contenders' as the build-up to Old Firm derby begins

As Celtic moved five points ahead of Rangers prior to the first Old Firm derby of the season at Ibrox, Brendan Rodgers branded next Saturday’s game a contest between title contenders, despite the gap that has already opened between the pair in the table. Rangers had to come from behind to earn a point in the 2-2 draw with Partick Thistle at Firhill on Friday and could not prevail despite playing against 10 men for the final quarter of the proceedings. Indeed, Pedro Caixinha’s players will go into their collision with the champions in third place after Saturday's results in the Scottish Premiership. Nevertheless, the Hoops manager cited the difference in summer transfer fees – Rangers’ outlay was an estimated £8 million, compared with Celtic’s £5.5 million, although the figures are arguable – as evidence that the Ibrox board were aiming to prise the Scottish title from the other side of Glasgow. "I’ve seen a little bit of Rangers,” Rodgers said. “Pedro obviously came in during the season and was able to assess and look at different methods in which they can try to work and play. Humbled: Neymar and company gave Celtic a harsh lesson midweek Credit: AFP “They have clearly spent money in the summer. They spent more money than us – and we are a Champions League club - so that tells you that their idea is to win the league. It’s not to finish third. Not to finish second above Aberdeen. It’s to win the league. “They have come into the season with that mentality. They have signed some good players and are playing a basic shape in terms of 4-4-2, nothing complicated, get the ball wide, crosses in the box. I’m sure they will be reasonably happy with how they have started.” Celtic’s 5-1 victory at Ibrox was widely viewed as a tactical blunder by Caixinha, who chose to deploy Rangers with a midfield diamond, through which the champions romped to establish a record victory on the ground of their arch-foes. Rodgers, though, declared that the Rangers line-up had not been novel in the circumstances, despite Caixinha’s adoption of 4-4-2 this season. Keep smiling: Pedro Caixinha arrives for the Scottish Premiership match at The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill Credit: PA “A lot of the European coaches will have different ways. I’m not sure 4-4-2 is what Pedro would purely like to play,” he said. “I think he is looking at what he’s got and how he can maximise what he gets from the players. “They played with a diamond, looking to have numbers in midfield and two front players. It’s flatter now in terms of how they are playing it, but their intention, I’m sure, is to win the league and what they have spent is a mark of that.” The Celtic boss, however, acknowledged that – having beaten Rangers in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final a week previously, the 5-1 rout had capped a deeply satisfying passage. “It was great week,” he said. “We went into the semi-final and were outstanding – our performance level in every facet was very good. At Ibrox the feeling was that we would be under severe pressure from their play and the crowd and there was no way we could go and play like we did in the semi. “For the players to go out and handle that side of it and perform like they did and actually be disappointed we only scored five made the performance outstanding.” April, the cruellest month: Celtic won 5-1 on their last visit to Ibrox Credit: Reuters So dominant were Celtic last time out at Ibrox that the home support began to make for the exits midway through the second half. “For every manager and player, it is feeling that you are working well. You are doing your job if the game is over by 65, 70 minutes,” Rodgers said. “In a 90-minute game you can take huge credit for how you are playing at that stage. If you are going to Ibrox and doing that against one of the great rivals and performing at that level, which was key for me, it was pretty special.” Celtic, of course, conceded five goals in their midweek Champions League group stage opener at home to Paris Saint-Germain but normal service was resumed with the visit of Ross County, who found themselves behind to a Tom Rogic strike after 13 minutes. The Staggies fell further behind five minutes before the break when Moussa Dembele, on his first appearance this season, placed a low right foot drive into the far corner of the net. The restart brought no relief for County as Celtic hit them on the counter from a memorable double save by Craig Gordon from Craig Curran and Alex Schalk. James Forrest netted on the rebound from a Rogic effort and scored Celtic’s fourth and his second after Oddsone Edouard’s prompt. Elsewhere, Aberdeen were held 1-1 at home to Kilmarnock, Hearts’ first victory under Craig Levein was a 2-1 win at Hamilton, while Hibs drew 2-2 with Motherwell at Easter Road and Dundee were 3-2 winners against Tayside neighbours, St Johnstone.

Celtic demand independent review of Rangers tax avoidance scheme to 'learn lessons and move on' 

Stewart Regan, the Scottish Football Association chief executive, finds himself squarely in the line of fire as Celtic upped the stakes in the ongoing fallout from Rangers’ use of a tax avoidance scheme – declared unlawful by the Supreme Court earlier this year – between 2001 and 2010. Celtic have accused the SFA of  “a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership” after the governing body declined to conduct a review of Rangers’ use of EBTs (Employee Benefit Trusts). By mutual agreement, the correspondence between Regan and Peter Lawwell, his Celtic counterpart, has been released. Celtic, though, have also released a statement on the club website which said: “In the light of all information that has now become available, Celtic has been in correspondence with the Scottish Football Association in pursuit of the club’s belief that an independent review should be commissioned to consider the events that led to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and the governance issues arising from those events. “This is exactly the same position as adopted by the SPFL board on behalf of all Scotland's 42 professional clubs.  The club believes that such a review is essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair. On that basis, Scottish football could learn lessons and move on. Celtic have demanded a review of Rangers' EBT saga Credit: GETTY IMAGES “The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.  “Celtic was, therefore, disappointed to note that the Scottish Football Association board has confirmed that it does not intend to commission such a review. Throughout these processes, Celtic's consistent objective has been to establish the full facts, which is surely the least that all stakeholders in Scottish football - including the supporters of all clubs - are entitled to, and to learn the appropriate lessons. That remains our position.” The Scottish Professional Football League had previously stated that it could not hold a review because it did not exist during Rangers’ use of the EBT scheme and had no jurisdiction over the rules of the Scottish Premier League, which was responsible for league governance at the time. The SPFL did, however, suggest that the SFA could institute a review. There have also been calls to strip Rangers of titles Credit: PA On Thursday, however, the SFA declined to pursue that course of action, citing QC’s advice, although they are investigating the granting of a licence to Rangers permitting them to take part in European football in 2011, after Craig Whyte had bought the Ibrox club for £1 from Sir David Murray, in the light of evidence presented in Whyte’s recent trial for fraud, a charge of which he was ultimately acquitted, Moves to have Rangers stripped of the honours they won during their use of EBTs have been proposed for several years, with Celtic supporters prominent amongst those demanding that their arch-foes be shorn of five league titles, four Scottish Cup wins and six Scottish League Cup successes. The Rangers fan shareholder group, Club 1872, previously said that it would mount a legal challenge to the SPFL if the league should support such a course. On the field of play, Rangers were productive for the first time in a home league match this season. Having lost to Hibernian and been held to a draw by Hearts, Pedro Caixinha’s players at last gratified their supporters with a comfortable victory over Dundee after Alfredo Morelos netted his sixth goal for the club with a low shot beyond Scott Bain just before the break. Josh Windass scored Rangers’ second when he headed home a Daniel Candeias cross then set up another for Carlos Pena before Morelos got his second, although there was still time for Faisal El-Bakhtoui to net a consolation for Dundee. Carlos Pena celebrates Rangers' third goal against Dundee Credit: PA In Dingwall, Partick Thistle’s luck seemed to have changed when Blair Spital shot them into a first half lead very much against the run of play against Ross County, but the Jags were held to a draw after Alex Schalk’s late penalty kick equaliser. In the collision of Northern Irish managers at McDiarmid Park, Tommy Wright drew first blood when Rangers’ reject, Michael O’Halloran turned a Liam Craig cross over the line just after the break to put St Johnstone ahead against Neil Lennon’s Hibs. Saints’ Paul Paton was next to score, but into his own net when trying to block Anthony Stokes. Ryan Bowman opened the scoring in Motherwell in the 2-0 home victory over Kilmarnock, then was taken down for a penalty kick converted by Louis Moult. The only goalless game in the Scottish Premiership was at Murrayfield, where Aberdeen keeper, Joe Lewis, defied Aberdeen with a string of outstanding saves, including two showstoppers to deny Isma Goncalves and Ross Callachan.

Celtic demand independent review of Rangers tax avoidance scheme to 'learn lessons and move on' 

Stewart Regan, the Scottish Football Association chief executive, finds himself squarely in the line of fire as Celtic upped the stakes in the ongoing fallout from Rangers’ use of a tax avoidance scheme – declared unlawful by the Supreme Court earlier this year – between 2001 and 2010. Celtic have accused the SFA of  “a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership” after the governing body declined to conduct a review of Rangers’ use of EBTs (Employee Benefit Trusts). By mutual agreement, the correspondence between Regan and Peter Lawwell, his Celtic counterpart, has been released. Celtic, though, have also released a statement on the club website which said: “In the light of all information that has now become available, Celtic has been in correspondence with the Scottish Football Association in pursuit of the club’s belief that an independent review should be commissioned to consider the events that led to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and the governance issues arising from those events. “This is exactly the same position as adopted by the SPFL board on behalf of all Scotland's 42 professional clubs.  The club believes that such a review is essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair. On that basis, Scottish football could learn lessons and move on. Celtic have demanded a review of Rangers' EBT saga Credit: GETTY IMAGES “The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.  “Celtic was, therefore, disappointed to note that the Scottish Football Association board has confirmed that it does not intend to commission such a review. Throughout these processes, Celtic's consistent objective has been to establish the full facts, which is surely the least that all stakeholders in Scottish football - including the supporters of all clubs - are entitled to, and to learn the appropriate lessons. That remains our position.” The Scottish Professional Football League had previously stated that it could not hold a review because it did not exist during Rangers’ use of the EBT scheme and had no jurisdiction over the rules of the Scottish Premier League, which was responsible for league governance at the time. The SPFL did, however, suggest that the SFA could institute a review. There have also been calls to strip Rangers of titles Credit: PA On Thursday, however, the SFA declined to pursue that course of action, citing QC’s advice, although they are investigating the granting of a licence to Rangers permitting them to take part in European football in 2011, after Craig Whyte had bought the Ibrox club for £1 from Sir David Murray, in the light of evidence presented in Whyte’s recent trial for fraud, a charge of which he was ultimately acquitted, Moves to have Rangers stripped of the honours they won during their use of EBTs have been proposed for several years, with Celtic supporters prominent amongst those demanding that their arch-foes be shorn of five league titles, four Scottish Cup wins and six Scottish League Cup successes. The Rangers fan shareholder group, Club 1872, previously said that it would mount a legal challenge to the SPFL if the league should support such a course. On the field of play, Rangers were productive for the first time in a home league match this season. Having lost to Hibernian and been held to a draw by Hearts, Pedro Caixinha’s players at last gratified their supporters with a comfortable victory over Dundee after Alfredo Morelos netted his sixth goal for the club with a low shot beyond Scott Bain just before the break. Josh Windass scored Rangers’ second when he headed home a Daniel Candeias cross then set up another for Carlos Pena before Morelos got his second, although there was still time for Faisal El-Bakhtoui to net a consolation for Dundee. Carlos Pena celebrates Rangers' third goal against Dundee Credit: PA In Dingwall, Partick Thistle’s luck seemed to have changed when Blair Spital shot them into a first half lead very much against the run of play against Ross County, but the Jags were held to a draw after Alex Schalk’s late penalty kick equaliser. In the collision of Northern Irish managers at McDiarmid Park, Tommy Wright drew first blood when Rangers’ reject, Michael O’Halloran turned a Liam Craig cross over the line just after the break to put St Johnstone ahead against Neil Lennon’s Hibs. Saints’ Paul Paton was next to score, but into his own net when trying to block Anthony Stokes. Ryan Bowman opened the scoring in Motherwell in the 2-0 home victory over Kilmarnock, then was taken down for a penalty kick converted by Louis Moult. The only goalless game in the Scottish Premiership was at Murrayfield, where Aberdeen keeper, Joe Lewis, defied Aberdeen with a string of outstanding saves, including two showstoppers to deny Isma Goncalves and Ross Callachan.

Celtic demand independent review of Rangers tax avoidance scheme to 'learn lessons and move on' 

Stewart Regan, the Scottish Football Association chief executive, finds himself squarely in the line of fire as Celtic upped the stakes in the ongoing fallout from Rangers’ use of a tax avoidance scheme – declared unlawful by the Supreme Court earlier this year – between 2001 and 2010. Celtic have accused the SFA of  “a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership” after the governing body declined to conduct a review of Rangers’ use of EBTs (Employee Benefit Trusts). By mutual agreement, the correspondence between Regan and Peter Lawwell, his Celtic counterpart, has been released. Celtic, though, have also released a statement on the club website which said: “In the light of all information that has now become available, Celtic has been in correspondence with the Scottish Football Association in pursuit of the club’s belief that an independent review should be commissioned to consider the events that led to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and the governance issues arising from those events. “This is exactly the same position as adopted by the SPFL board on behalf of all Scotland's 42 professional clubs.  The club believes that such a review is essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair. On that basis, Scottish football could learn lessons and move on. Celtic have demanded a review of Rangers' EBT saga Credit: GETTY IMAGES “The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.  “Celtic was, therefore, disappointed to note that the Scottish Football Association board has confirmed that it does not intend to commission such a review. Throughout these processes, Celtic's consistent objective has been to establish the full facts, which is surely the least that all stakeholders in Scottish football - including the supporters of all clubs - are entitled to, and to learn the appropriate lessons. That remains our position.” The Scottish Professional Football League had previously stated that it could not hold a review because it did not exist during Rangers’ use of the EBT scheme and had no jurisdiction over the rules of the Scottish Premier League, which was responsible for league governance at the time. The SPFL did, however, suggest that the SFA could institute a review. There have also been calls to strip Rangers of titles Credit: PA On Thursday, however, the SFA declined to pursue that course of action, citing QC’s advice, although they are investigating the granting of a licence to Rangers permitting them to take part in European football in 2011, after Craig Whyte had bought the Ibrox club for £1 from Sir David Murray, in the light of evidence presented in Whyte’s recent trial for fraud, a charge of which he was ultimately acquitted, Moves to have Rangers stripped of the honours they won during their use of EBTs have been proposed for several years, with Celtic supporters prominent amongst those demanding that their arch-foes be shorn of five league titles, four Scottish Cup wins and six Scottish League Cup successes. The Rangers fan shareholder group, Club 1872, previously said that it would mount a legal challenge to the SPFL if the league should support such a course. On the field of play, Rangers were productive for the first time in a home league match this season. Having lost to Hibernian and been held to a draw by Hearts, Pedro Caixinha’s players at last gratified their supporters with a comfortable victory over Dundee after Alfredo Morelos netted his sixth goal for the club with a low shot beyond Scott Bain just before the break. Josh Windass scored Rangers’ second when he headed home a Daniel Candeias cross then set up another for Carlos Pena before Morelos got his second, although there was still time for Faisal El-Bakhtoui to net a consolation for Dundee. Carlos Pena celebrates Rangers' third goal against Dundee Credit: PA In Dingwall, Partick Thistle’s luck seemed to have changed when Blair Spital shot them into a first half lead very much against the run of play against Ross County, but the Jags were held to a draw after Alex Schalk’s late penalty kick equaliser. In the collision of Northern Irish managers at McDiarmid Park, Tommy Wright drew first blood when Rangers’ reject, Michael O’Halloran turned a Liam Craig cross over the line just after the break to put St Johnstone ahead against Neil Lennon’s Hibs. Saints’ Paul Paton was next to score, but into his own net when trying to block Anthony Stokes. Ryan Bowman opened the scoring in Motherwell in the 2-0 home victory over Kilmarnock, then was taken down for a penalty kick converted by Louis Moult. The only goalless game in the Scottish Premiership was at Murrayfield, where Aberdeen keeper, Joe Lewis, defied Aberdeen with a string of outstanding saves, including two showstoppers to deny Isma Goncalves and Ross Callachan.

Celtic demand independent review of Rangers tax avoidance scheme to 'learn lessons and move on' 

Stewart Regan, the Scottish Football Association chief executive, finds himself squarely in the line of fire as Celtic upped the stakes in the ongoing fallout from Rangers’ use of a tax avoidance scheme – declared unlawful by the Supreme Court earlier this year – between 2001 and 2010. Celtic have accused the SFA of  “a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership” after the governing body declined to conduct a review of Rangers’ use of EBTs (Employee Benefit Trusts). By mutual agreement, the correspondence between Regan and Peter Lawwell, his Celtic counterpart, has been released. Celtic, though, have also released a statement on the club website which said: “In the light of all information that has now become available, Celtic has been in correspondence with the Scottish Football Association in pursuit of the club’s belief that an independent review should be commissioned to consider the events that led to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and the governance issues arising from those events. “This is exactly the same position as adopted by the SPFL board on behalf of all Scotland's 42 professional clubs.  The club believes that such a review is essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair. On that basis, Scottish football could learn lessons and move on. Celtic have demanded a review of Rangers' EBT saga Credit: GETTY IMAGES “The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.  “Celtic was, therefore, disappointed to note that the Scottish Football Association board has confirmed that it does not intend to commission such a review. Throughout these processes, Celtic's consistent objective has been to establish the full facts, which is surely the least that all stakeholders in Scottish football - including the supporters of all clubs - are entitled to, and to learn the appropriate lessons. That remains our position.” The Scottish Professional Football League had previously stated that it could not hold a review because it did not exist during Rangers’ use of the EBT scheme and had no jurisdiction over the rules of the Scottish Premier League, which was responsible for league governance at the time. The SPFL did, however, suggest that the SFA could institute a review. There have also been calls to strip Rangers of titles Credit: PA On Thursday, however, the SFA declined to pursue that course of action, citing QC’s advice, although they are investigating the granting of a licence to Rangers permitting them to take part in European football in 2011, after Craig Whyte had bought the Ibrox club for £1 from Sir David Murray, in the light of evidence presented in Whyte’s recent trial for fraud, a charge of which he was ultimately acquitted, Moves to have Rangers stripped of the honours they won during their use of EBTs have been proposed for several years, with Celtic supporters prominent amongst those demanding that their arch-foes be shorn of five league titles, four Scottish Cup wins and six Scottish League Cup successes. The Rangers fan shareholder group, Club 1872, previously said that it would mount a legal challenge to the SPFL if the league should support such a course. On the field of play, Rangers were productive for the first time in a home league match this season. Having lost to Hibernian and been held to a draw by Hearts, Pedro Caixinha’s players at last gratified their supporters with a comfortable victory over Dundee after Alfredo Morelos netted his sixth goal for the club with a low shot beyond Scott Bain just before the break. Josh Windass scored Rangers’ second when he headed home a Daniel Candeias cross then set up another for Carlos Pena before Morelos got his second, although there was still time for Faisal El-Bakhtoui to net a consolation for Dundee. Carlos Pena celebrates Rangers' third goal against Dundee Credit: PA In Dingwall, Partick Thistle’s luck seemed to have changed when Blair Spital shot them into a first half lead very much against the run of play against Ross County, but the Jags were held to a draw after Alex Schalk’s late penalty kick equaliser. In the collision of Northern Irish managers at McDiarmid Park, Tommy Wright drew first blood when Rangers’ reject, Michael O’Halloran turned a Liam Craig cross over the line just after the break to put St Johnstone ahead against Neil Lennon’s Hibs. Saints’ Paul Paton was next to score, but into his own net when trying to block Anthony Stokes. Ryan Bowman opened the scoring in Motherwell in the 2-0 home victory over Kilmarnock, then was taken down for a penalty kick converted by Louis Moult. The only goalless game in the Scottish Premiership was at Murrayfield, where Aberdeen keeper, Joe Lewis, defied Aberdeen with a string of outstanding saves, including two showstoppers to deny Isma Goncalves and Ross Callachan.

Stuart Armstrong back on track after signing new Celtic deal

Stuart Armstrong – whose protracted contract negotiations with Celtic ended with a new, longer deal last week – has  rebutted manager Brendan Rodgers’ claim that the process had affected his performances adversely. Rodgers told Telegraph Sport two weeks ago: “It has affected him…it is starting to take its toll on him a bit.” Armstrong, however, said: “In my head it was clear that I was staying so there was no issue with being unsettled. It was obviously just everything surrounding it – I just wanted to focus on playing football. “It was always my decision to get that contract signed. It just took a bit of time but now that is all sorted and  everything has settled down. “Everyone is fighting for a spot to play for Celtic and that’s the way it should be. It has been that way since the day I joined the club and it is no  different now.” Some Celtic fans and players had  expressed the desire not to find themselves coming out of the Champions League draw alongside Barcelona for what would have been a fourth successive meeting in the group stage – and they got their wish when the Parkhead side found themselves in the company of Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain and Anderlecht. “We played Barcelona last year and the boys had encountered them a  couple of years previously so it will be nice to see some new faces,” admitted Armstrong. “We don’t want to put a  label on anything. “As boring as it sounds we will take each game as it comes. That’s the way we think domestically and in European football. The last Champions League campaign was a good experience and as a team and a group we are in a better position now.” Armstrong and Brendan Rodgers following Celtic's Champions League qualifying play-off midweek Credit: REUTERS Armstrong started on the bench for the visit of St Johnstone, who started the day level on points with Celtic but suffered a blow in the opening minute when Murray Davidson was knocked out in a collision inside the Hoops box and required five minutes of treatment by the medics before being stretchered from the field. Davidson was replaced by Liam Craig, who was to have a say in the  action when events took an unforeseen turn towards half-time. Perhaps inspired by the example of Astana, who beat Celtic 4-3 in the  second leg of their Champions League play-off in Kazakhstan in midweek, Saints took the game to the Scottish  title holders. Michael O’Halloran showed the way when he got clear of Celtic’s right-back, Anthony Ralston, for a cutback towards David Wotherspoon, who was unable to apply his customary technique and power on his finish, which was a  simple save for Craig Gordon. The goalkeeper, though, was the architect of his own misfortune nine minutes before the break when he sliced a clearance to Craig, who turned the ball promptly infield to Steven MacLean. The striker hesitated, seemingly checking that he was not offside before beating Gordon with a low shot, inducing euphoria amongst the small Perth support and stunned silence in the ranks of the home faithful. Rodgers’ response was to replace James Forrest and Olivier Ntcham with Jonny Hayes and Armstrong for the second half. Armstrong almost equalised with a vicious drive which Allan Mannus tipped over the bar. At the other end MacLean missed an outstanding chance when he directed a header straight at Gordon from point-blank range. Substitute Callum McGregor earned Celtic a point with 11 minutes left when the ball broke to him and from 16 yards he fired into the net. The 100 greatest Champions League moments In a bizarre sideshow to the game, the second assistant ref was Douglas Ross, who is a Conservative MP for  Moray. In that capacity, he found himself immersed in controversy after  giving an interview in which he was asked what he would do if he were Prime Minister for a day Ross said he would “like to see tougher enforcement against gipsies and travellers”. In the outcry which  followed, Ross apologised but his  remarks will be scrutinised by the Scottish Football Association. Elsewhere, there was a thrilling 4-3 win for Aberdeen over Partick Thistle at Firhill. The visitors took an early lead through Ryan Christie before Thistle retorted with goals from Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan. A Kenny McLean  penalty levelled the score again by half-time. After the break the Dons went ahead again through Scott Wright, only for Niall Keown to equalise almost immediately. Adam Rooney headed in the winner before Keown was sent off  following a second booking. At Rugby Park it finished 2-2. Kilmarnock took the lead against Hamilton Academical through a Louis Longridge own goal and saw Lee Irwin double their lead after the break. Accies, though, responded through Giannis Skondras and an Ali Crawford penalty. At Fir Park, Kyle Lafferty opened the scoring for Hearts but Ryan Bowman and Louis Moult responded to give Motherwell a 2-1 victory.

Stuart Armstrong back on track after signing new Celtic deal

Stuart Armstrong – whose protracted contract negotiations with Celtic ended with a new, longer deal last week – has  rebutted manager Brendan Rodgers’ claim that the process had affected his performances adversely. Rodgers told Telegraph Sport two weeks ago: “It has affected him…it is starting to take its toll on him a bit.” Armstrong, however, said: “In my head it was clear that I was staying so there was no issue with being unsettled. It was obviously just everything surrounding it – I just wanted to focus on playing football. “It was always my decision to get that contract signed. It just took a bit of time but now that is all sorted and  everything has settled down. “Everyone is fighting for a spot to play for Celtic and that’s the way it should be. It has been that way since the day I joined the club and it is no  different now.” Some Celtic fans and players had  expressed the desire not to find themselves coming out of the Champions League draw alongside Barcelona for what would have been a fourth successive meeting in the group stage – and they got their wish when the Parkhead side found themselves in the company of Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain and Anderlecht. “We played Barcelona last year and the boys had encountered them a  couple of years previously so it will be nice to see some new faces,” admitted Armstrong. “We don’t want to put a  label on anything. “As boring as it sounds we will take each game as it comes. That’s the way we think domestically and in European football. The last Champions League campaign was a good experience and as a team and a group we are in a better position now.” Armstrong and Brendan Rodgers following Celtic's Champions League qualifying play-off midweek Credit: REUTERS Armstrong started on the bench for the visit of St Johnstone, who started the day level on points with Celtic but suffered a blow in the opening minute when Murray Davidson was knocked out in a collision inside the Hoops box and required five minutes of treatment by the medics before being stretchered from the field. Davidson was replaced by Liam Craig, who was to have a say in the  action when events took an unforeseen turn towards half-time. Perhaps inspired by the example of Astana, who beat Celtic 4-3 in the  second leg of their Champions League play-off in Kazakhstan in midweek, Saints took the game to the Scottish  title holders. Michael O’Halloran showed the way when he got clear of Celtic’s right-back, Anthony Ralston, for a cutback towards David Wotherspoon, who was unable to apply his customary technique and power on his finish, which was a  simple save for Craig Gordon. The goalkeeper, though, was the architect of his own misfortune nine minutes before the break when he sliced a clearance to Craig, who turned the ball promptly infield to Steven MacLean. The striker hesitated, seemingly checking that he was not offside before beating Gordon with a low shot, inducing euphoria amongst the small Perth support and stunned silence in the ranks of the home faithful. Rodgers’ response was to replace James Forrest and Olivier Ntcham with Jonny Hayes and Armstrong for the second half. Armstrong almost equalised with a vicious drive which Allan Mannus tipped over the bar. At the other end MacLean missed an outstanding chance when he directed a header straight at Gordon from point-blank range. Substitute Callum McGregor earned Celtic a point with 11 minutes left when the ball broke to him and from 16 yards he fired into the net. The 100 greatest Champions League moments In a bizarre sideshow to the game, the second assistant ref was Douglas Ross, who is a Conservative MP for  Moray. In that capacity, he found himself immersed in controversy after  giving an interview in which he was asked what he would do if he were Prime Minister for a day Ross said he would “like to see tougher enforcement against gipsies and travellers”. In the outcry which  followed, Ross apologised but his  remarks will be scrutinised by the Scottish Football Association. Elsewhere, there was a thrilling 4-3 win for Aberdeen over Partick Thistle at Firhill. The visitors took an early lead through Ryan Christie before Thistle retorted with goals from Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan. A Kenny McLean  penalty levelled the score again by half-time. After the break the Dons went ahead again through Scott Wright, only for Niall Keown to equalise almost immediately. Adam Rooney headed in the winner before Keown was sent off  following a second booking. At Rugby Park it finished 2-2. Kilmarnock took the lead against Hamilton Academical through a Louis Longridge own goal and saw Lee Irwin double their lead after the break. Accies, though, responded through Giannis Skondras and an Ali Crawford penalty. At Fir Park, Kyle Lafferty opened the scoring for Hearts but Ryan Bowman and Louis Moult responded to give Motherwell a 2-1 victory.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers confident Stuart Armstrong will remain at Parkhead and regain form

Stuart Armstrong wants to stay at Celtic despite the protracted saga of his unresolved contract talks, Brendan Rodgers said on Saturday night. The Scotland midfielder has attracted the attention of several English clubs, with Southampton reportedly prepared to make a £3 million bid, but the Hoops manager believes the 25-year-old will not regain the form which made him a standout in midfield last season until the negotiations are settled. “You can see it in him,” Rodgers said. He’s a very conscientious boy, Stuart. He’s not one of these boys who can just play and not think and worry. “I genuinely think he wants to be here at Celtic. He just wants it resolved and he probably wanted it resolved six, seven months ago. For whatever reason, it hasn’t. “It has affected him. I think for him, because he’s a great lad and I love and enjoy working with him, it’s starting to take its toll on him a wee bit. “Hopefully we can get that resolved and he can settle down again and find that stability and find that form he was in for about seven months of last season.” Rodgers expects Armstrong to stay at Celtic Credit:  REUTERS Another player who could be lost to Celtic is the 20-year-old left back, Kieran Tierney, who became the youngest Parkhead captain in living memory when he was handed the armband for the midweek visit of Kilmarnock in the Scottish League Cup. The gesture might have been calculated to reinforce the bond between the club and Tierney, who was a boyhood Celtic supporter and is a product of the youth system. His performance against Raheem Sterling when Manchester City had to come from behind three times for a 3-3 draw in the east end of Glasgow in the Champions League group stage last season brought Tierney to the attention of a wider audience and his performance on the left of a central defensive trio in Scotland’s 2-2 draw with England in the World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park in June attracted attention from south of the border. “I’m not worried, but I wouldn’t be surprised,” Rodgers said, of the possibility that Tierney might attract at offer Celtic could not refuse. “I’m not worried because he loves being here, he knows he’s developing, he’s a sensible boy. He is developing into a top class young player. “He’s still got improvements that he will make. I don’t get a sense from him other than he’s in a good place, in a happy place. He genuinely actually loves playing for the club and there are very few players like that nowadays. Players love football but they don’t necessarily love the club. Kieran Tierney loves football – and he loves Celtic. “I think it helps that he’s an absolute Celtic daft. There is a different feel when you play for the club you support. “Listen, there may come a time when you are that good and you are young, with so much potential, there is always that danger [of a bid] but we will cross that bridge when it comes to it. I don’t think there’s a chance of it imminently, but you always have to be ready because with a top young player like that there’s always the possibility.” The 100 greatest Champions League moments Celtic face Astana at home on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League playoff and warmed up by extending their unbeaten sequence of domestic games to 51 with Friday’s 1-0 victory over Partick Thistle at Firhill but Hibernian went top of the table on goal difference, having scored more away from home, after they came from behind at Ibrox, where Alfredo Morelos gave Rangers an early lead with a close-range header from a free kick delivery from Daniel Candeias. Rangers, though, were reduced to 10 men when the red card was shown to summer signing, Ryan Jack, and Hibs capitalised on their numerical superiority when Simon Murray broke from space to elude James Tavernier for a low strike beyond Wes Foderingham. Pedro Caixinha’s players were struck another blow when Murray found Vykintas Slivka for a shot from six yards which took a decisive deflection off Tavernier to find the net. There was no dubiety about Slivka’s next significant contribution after the break when he made it 3-1 with a superb half volley which dipped past Foderingham. Tavernier’s unfortunate afternoon was mitigated when he got upfield to meet a cross from Danny Wilson to keep the issue open as the home support howled their favourites on, ultimately to no avail. St Johnstone won for the second successive week with a decisive 4-1home win over Motherwell, to which Michael O’Halloran contributed a double against a Firk Park side reduced to eight men when Trevor Carson, Carl McHugh and Charles Dunne were sent off. Aberdeen also maintained a perfect record when they came behind to beat Ross County 2-1 in Dingwall. Hearts, under caretaker boss, Jon Daly, beat Kilmarnock 1-0 at Rug by Park where Ismael Goncalves scored and was later sent off along with Killie’s Kirk Broadfoot and Hamilton Accies completed a busy card with a 3-0 win over Dundee. £250,000 up for grabs: pick your Telegraph Fantasy Football team today >> 

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers confident Stuart Armstrong will remain at Parkhead and regain form

Stuart Armstrong wants to stay at Celtic despite the protracted saga of his unresolved contract talks, Brendan Rodgers said on Saturday night. The Scotland midfielder has attracted the attention of several English clubs, with Southampton reportedly prepared to make a £3 million bid, but the Hoops manager believes the 25-year-old will not regain the form which made him a standout in midfield last season until the negotiations are settled. “You can see it in him,” Rodgers said. He’s a very conscientious boy, Stuart. He’s not one of these boys who can just play and not think and worry. “I genuinely think he wants to be here at Celtic. He just wants it resolved and he probably wanted it resolved six, seven months ago. For whatever reason, it hasn’t. “It has affected him. I think for him, because he’s a great lad and I love and enjoy working with him, it’s starting to take its toll on him a wee bit. “Hopefully we can get that resolved and he can settle down again and find that stability and find that form he was in for about seven months of last season.” Rodgers expects Armstrong to stay at Celtic Credit:  REUTERS Another player who could be lost to Celtic is the 20-year-old left back, Kieran Tierney, who became the youngest Parkhead captain in living memory when he was handed the armband for the midweek visit of Kilmarnock in the Scottish League Cup. The gesture might have been calculated to reinforce the bond between the club and Tierney, who was a boyhood Celtic supporter and is a product of the youth system. His performance against Raheem Sterling when Manchester City had to come from behind three times for a 3-3 draw in the east end of Glasgow in the Champions League group stage last season brought Tierney to the attention of a wider audience and his performance on the left of a central defensive trio in Scotland’s 2-2 draw with England in the World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park in June attracted attention from south of the border. “I’m not worried, but I wouldn’t be surprised,” Rodgers said, of the possibility that Tierney might attract at offer Celtic could not refuse. “I’m not worried because he loves being here, he knows he’s developing, he’s a sensible boy. He is developing into a top class young player. “He’s still got improvements that he will make. I don’t get a sense from him other than he’s in a good place, in a happy place. He genuinely actually loves playing for the club and there are very few players like that nowadays. Players love football but they don’t necessarily love the club. Kieran Tierney loves football – and he loves Celtic. “I think it helps that he’s an absolute Celtic daft. There is a different feel when you play for the club you support. “Listen, there may come a time when you are that good and you are young, with so much potential, there is always that danger [of a bid] but we will cross that bridge when it comes to it. I don’t think there’s a chance of it imminently, but you always have to be ready because with a top young player like that there’s always the possibility.” The 100 greatest Champions League moments Celtic face Astana at home on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League playoff and warmed up by extending their unbeaten sequence of domestic games to 51 with Friday’s 1-0 victory over Partick Thistle at Firhill but Hibernian went top of the table on goal difference, having scored more away from home, after they came from behind at Ibrox, where Alfredo Morelos gave Rangers an early lead with a close-range header from a free kick delivery from Daniel Candeias. Rangers, though, were reduced to 10 men when the red card was shown to summer signing, Ryan Jack, and Hibs capitalised on their numerical superiority when Simon Murray broke from space to elude James Tavernier for a low strike beyond Wes Foderingham. Pedro Caixinha’s players were struck another blow when Murray found Vykintas Slivka for a shot from six yards which took a decisive deflection off Tavernier to find the net. There was no dubiety about Slivka’s next significant contribution after the break when he made it 3-1 with a superb half volley which dipped past Foderingham. Tavernier’s unfortunate afternoon was mitigated when he got upfield to meet a cross from Danny Wilson to keep the issue open as the home support howled their favourites on, ultimately to no avail. St Johnstone won for the second successive week with a decisive 4-1home win over Motherwell, to which Michael O’Halloran contributed a double against a Firk Park side reduced to eight men when Trevor Carson, Carl McHugh and Charles Dunne were sent off. Aberdeen also maintained a perfect record when they came behind to beat Ross County 2-1 in Dingwall. Hearts, under caretaker boss, Jon Daly, beat Kilmarnock 1-0 at Rug by Park where Ismael Goncalves scored and was later sent off along with Killie’s Kirk Broadfoot and Hamilton Accies completed a busy card with a 3-0 win over Dundee. £250,000 up for grabs: pick your Telegraph Fantasy Football team today >> 

Rangers Fan View: 4 things we learned against Motherwell

Rangers Fan View: 4 things we learned against Motherwell

Rangers Fan View: 4 things we learned against Motherwell

Motherwell vs Rangers: TV channel, free stream, kick-off time, odds & match preview

Motherwell vs Rangers: TV channel, free stream, kick-off time, odds & match preview

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson: 'I was at the bottom of the game - that drives me on'

Most successful sports people can recall one crossroads in a career, an event that made the difference between turning professional and reciting the “could have been a contender” speech. For Liverpool’s new £10 million left-back Andy Robertson, there is already a catalogue of such defining moments. At 15, Robertson was told by Celtic he was too small and timid to play at the highest level, a crushing disappointment he says inspired him to prove the sceptics wrong. By 18, now working in the corporate department at Hampden Park while playing amateur football for Queen’s Park, Robertson was given a deadline by his supportive but realistic parents; secure a professional contract in the next 12 months or consider alternatives. Whatever challenges face him at Anfield, Robertson is used to playing for the highest stakes. Robertson is on pre-season tour with Liverpool in Germany “For the first few years when I was in the youth side at Queen’s Park it was fine because I was still at school,” says Robertson. “I was grateful to my mum and dad because [after leaving school] they said, ‘We will give you this season to try and push on and make that dream a reality, but after that you might have to look at other options’. I was going down the line of needing to apply for university or college or maybe becoming a PE teacher or something in sports science. Queen’s Park was amateur so you do not get paid. You need to make a living with that. “I worked in Hampden Park taking phone calls and [ticket] orders for games. We trained twice a week at night and played games on Saturday, so I was working 9 to 5 and then having to train. “There was a guy, Andy McGlennan, who had worked at Queen’s Park for years and he was high up at Hampden so sorted a lot of the boys out with jobs. He looked after us and made sure I had some money in my pocket with a bit of hard work. He knew what the dream was and helped me.” Liverpool XI of great Scots Rejection by Celtic, Robertson’s boyhood side who as a fan he watched knock Liverpool out of the 2003 Uefa Cup (his father grew up worshipping Kenny Dalglish), left a scar. “There was a transition going on at Celtic at the time where a new head of youth had come in. I didn’t fit the bill,” said Robertson. “He came from Motherwell, who were full of big lads and were physical. That wasn’t my game. I was small. I’m not big now but it took me time to grow and fill out. “He saw a small guy playing centre-mid, left-mid or left-back who was quite weak. To be fair I was, but I believed in my ability. “That was the first time I had anyone doubt me. Tommy Burns [the former Celtic manager and head of youth development] was great with me and when he died it hit everyone hard. He was different class with me, he liked me as a player, he liked me as a person and he could see what potential I had. “He sadly passed away and Celtic went another route afterwards, one which was hard on some players, but good for others that maybe didn’t fit Tommy’s vision. How much has your Premier League club spent this summer? “Being rejected was quite hard because I was a Celtic fan from birth. It took nearly a full season to get over that disappointment. My first year at Queen’s Park, I just wasn’t good enough, but that tough period shaped me. “I’ve had a few doubters since then, but you’ve just got to continuously prove them wrong because if you are, it means you’re doing things right. Looking back on it now, being released was the best thing that could have happened to me.” So has there been any contact from those at Celtic’s academy who made such an expensive mistake? “I don’t want them being in touch just because of what’s happened now,” he says in the luxurious surrounding of Liverpool’s German training camp in Rottach-Egern. “Would they be in touch if it worked out the other way and I was a PE teacher somewhere? No.” Robertson impressed Jurgen Klopp with his performances as Hull Credit: Getty Images Robertson could not have imagined it was his response to this childhood setback, thriving at Dundee United and Hull City, that caught Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s attention as much as his stylish full-back performances. Klopp empathised with what he described as the 23-year-old’s “incredible personal journey”. “The manager wants to know the person as well as he knows the footballer,” said Robertson. “He was asking me about my story. He told me about himself and wanted to know all about me. “I saw the quotes when I signed for Liverpool and he obviously liked my journey from the bottom of Scottish football to where I am now. It has driven me along.” The Anfield interest in Robertson pre-dates Klopp – he was first under consideration two summers ago – but he left an impression on the German coach when shining for Hull last season. Steve Heighway’s most successful Liverpool Academy XI Robertson lived with the rumours of a Liverpool bid for a while, but said he only felt sure of their interest once an offer was made. “It’s hard because there are scouts at every game. They can tell your agent or whoever they are looking at you, but you never really know,” he said. “I’m sure they go there with an open mind and it is about who catches their eye. That’s the nature of football. You don’t take too much attention until there is a formal bid. There was a lot of speculation about it but that’s football. You just need to get your head down, work hard and make it a reality. “When Liverpool come in it’s a no-brainer and with a manager like here, the first time I spoke to him I was taken away by him and his plans. Obviously I’ve played against his side and know how hard it is against Jurgen Klopp’s team. I want to be part of that team and make it hard for teams to break us down and beat us. A team like Liverpool you are not going to turn down. I couldn’t wait to get here once the fee was agreed.” Robertson will have an immediate chance to impress during Liverpool’s German tour due to a thigh injury to James Milner, who will not feature in the three games. Many believe Roberston will initially be Milner’s deputy, but the youngster has loftier ambitions. Left-back has been a problem position for Liverpool Credit: Getty Images “I’ve come here wanting to be first choice,” he said. “Obviously it is up to the manager as the competition will be big for the position, but it’s one where I’m hoping to come out on top. I don’t like it if I’m not part of the starting team. I don’t like sitting on the bench even when it was very rare at Hull to rest during cup games. I’m not a good spectator, I’m a nightmare when I’m injured and I’m not playing. “I respect the other players and I know how good a job they can do but I’ve just got to bring my A-game and hopefully it’s enough for me to first choice.” With rival Premier League clubs paying £50 million for overlapping full-backs, Robertson could become one of this summer’s bargains. He laughs at the thought of a £10 million purchase being seen as such. “I wouldn’t quite say that,” he said. “We know over the last few years that football’s been a bit crazy. The investment all around the world that is making people spend kind of silly money. I think it’s going to keep going up and up. “You don’t focus on the price tag, you just try to focus on when you get there. The players, themselves, can’t control that. If you’re a wee bit more expensive then there’s maybe more pressure on you, but when you come to big clubs like this one, there is always pressure on you.” Andy Robertson is valued at £3.5m in Telegraph Fantasy Football, but is he good enough to make your team? - pick a team now >>

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson: 'I was at the bottom of the game - that drives me on'

Most successful sports people can recall one crossroads in a career, an event that made the difference between turning professional and reciting the “could have been a contender” speech. For Liverpool’s new £10 million left-back Andy Robertson, there is already a catalogue of such defining moments. At 15, Robertson was told by Celtic he was too small and timid to play at the highest level, a crushing disappointment he says inspired him to prove the sceptics wrong. By 18, now working in the corporate department at Hampden Park while playing amateur football for Queen’s Park, Robertson was given a deadline by his supportive but realistic parents; secure a professional contract in the next 12 months or consider alternatives. Whatever challenges face him at Anfield, Robertson is used to playing for the highest stakes. Robertson is on pre-season tour with Liverpool in Germany “For the first few years when I was in the youth side at Queen’s Park it was fine because I was still at school,” says Robertson. “I was grateful to my mum and dad because [after leaving school] they said, ‘We will give you this season to try and push on and make that dream a reality, but after that you might have to look at other options’. I was going down the line of needing to apply for university or college or maybe becoming a PE teacher or something in sports science. Queen’s Park was amateur so you do not get paid. You need to make a living with that. “I worked in Hampden Park taking phone calls and [ticket] orders for games. We trained twice a week at night and played games on Saturday, so I was working 9 to 5 and then having to train. “There was a guy, Andy McGlennan, who had worked at Queen’s Park for years and he was high up at Hampden so sorted a lot of the boys out with jobs. He looked after us and made sure I had some money in my pocket with a bit of hard work. He knew what the dream was and helped me.” Liverpool XI of great Scots Rejection by Celtic, Robertson’s boyhood side who as a fan he watched knock Liverpool out of the 2003 Uefa Cup (his father grew up worshipping Kenny Dalglish), left a scar. “There was a transition going on at Celtic at the time where a new head of youth had come in. I didn’t fit the bill,” said Robertson. “He came from Motherwell, who were full of big lads and were physical. That wasn’t my game. I was small. I’m not big now but it took me time to grow and fill out. “He saw a small guy playing centre-mid, left-mid or left-back who was quite weak. To be fair I was, but I believed in my ability. “That was the first time I had anyone doubt me. Tommy Burns [the former Celtic manager and head of youth development] was great with me and when he died it hit everyone hard. He was different class with me, he liked me as a player, he liked me as a person and he could see what potential I had. “He sadly passed away and Celtic went another route afterwards, one which was hard on some players, but good for others that maybe didn’t fit Tommy’s vision. How much has your Premier League club spent this summer? “Being rejected was quite hard because I was a Celtic fan from birth. It took nearly a full season to get over that disappointment. My first year at Queen’s Park, I just wasn’t good enough, but that tough period shaped me. “I’ve had a few doubters since then, but you’ve just got to continuously prove them wrong because if you are, it means you’re doing things right. Looking back on it now, being released was the best thing that could have happened to me.” So has there been any contact from those at Celtic’s academy who made such an expensive mistake? “I don’t want them being in touch just because of what’s happened now,” he says in the luxurious surrounding of Liverpool’s German training camp in Rottach-Egern. “Would they be in touch if it worked out the other way and I was a PE teacher somewhere? No.” Robertson impressed Jurgen Klopp with his performances as Hull Credit: Getty Images Robertson could not have imagined it was his response to this childhood setback, thriving at Dundee United and Hull City, that caught Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s attention as much as his stylish full-back performances. Klopp empathised with what he described as the 23-year-old’s “incredible personal journey”. “The manager wants to know the person as well as he knows the footballer,” said Robertson. “He was asking me about my story. He told me about himself and wanted to know all about me. “I saw the quotes when I signed for Liverpool and he obviously liked my journey from the bottom of Scottish football to where I am now. It has driven me along.” The Anfield interest in Robertson pre-dates Klopp – he was first under consideration two summers ago – but he left an impression on the German coach when shining for Hull last season. Steve Heighway’s most successful Liverpool Academy XI Robertson lived with the rumours of a Liverpool bid for a while, but said he only felt sure of their interest once an offer was made. “It’s hard because there are scouts at every game. They can tell your agent or whoever they are looking at you, but you never really know,” he said. “I’m sure they go there with an open mind and it is about who catches their eye. That’s the nature of football. You don’t take too much attention until there is a formal bid. There was a lot of speculation about it but that’s football. You just need to get your head down, work hard and make it a reality. “When Liverpool come in it’s a no-brainer and with a manager like here, the first time I spoke to him I was taken away by him and his plans. Obviously I’ve played against his side and know how hard it is against Jurgen Klopp’s team. I want to be part of that team and make it hard for teams to break us down and beat us. A team like Liverpool you are not going to turn down. I couldn’t wait to get here once the fee was agreed.” Robertson will have an immediate chance to impress during Liverpool’s German tour due to a thigh injury to James Milner, who will not feature in the three games. Many believe Roberston will initially be Milner’s deputy, but the youngster has loftier ambitions. Left-back has been a problem position for Liverpool Credit: Getty Images “I’ve come here wanting to be first choice,” he said. “Obviously it is up to the manager as the competition will be big for the position, but it’s one where I’m hoping to come out on top. I don’t like it if I’m not part of the starting team. I don’t like sitting on the bench even when it was very rare at Hull to rest during cup games. I’m not a good spectator, I’m a nightmare when I’m injured and I’m not playing. “I respect the other players and I know how good a job they can do but I’ve just got to bring my A-game and hopefully it’s enough for me to first choice.” With rival Premier League clubs paying £50 million for overlapping full-backs, Robertson could become one of this summer’s bargains. He laughs at the thought of a £10 million purchase being seen as such. “I wouldn’t quite say that,” he said. “We know over the last few years that football’s been a bit crazy. The investment all around the world that is making people spend kind of silly money. I think it’s going to keep going up and up. “You don’t focus on the price tag, you just try to focus on when you get there. The players, themselves, can’t control that. If you’re a wee bit more expensive then there’s maybe more pressure on you, but when you come to big clubs like this one, there is always pressure on you.” Andy Robertson is valued at £3.5m in Telegraph Fantasy Football, but is he good enough to make your team? - pick a team now >>

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson: 'I was at the bottom of the game - that drives me on'

Most successful sports people can recall one crossroads in a career, an event that made the difference between turning professional and reciting the “could have been a contender” speech. For Liverpool’s new £10 million left-back Andy Robertson, there is already a catalogue of such defining moments. At 15, Robertson was told by Celtic he was too small and timid to play at the highest level, a crushing disappointment he says inspired him to prove the sceptics wrong. By 18, now working in the corporate department at Hampden Park while playing amateur football for Queen’s Park, Robertson was given a deadline by his supportive but realistic parents; secure a professional contract in the next 12 months or consider alternatives. Whatever challenges face him at Anfield, Robertson is used to playing for the highest stakes. Robertson is on pre-season tour with Liverpool in Germany “For the first few years when I was in the youth side at Queen’s Park it was fine because I was still at school,” says Robertson. “I was grateful to my mum and dad because [after leaving school] they said, ‘We will give you this season to try and push on and make that dream a reality, but after that you might have to look at other options’. I was going down the line of needing to apply for university or college or maybe becoming a PE teacher or something in sports science. Queen’s Park was amateur so you do not get paid. You need to make a living with that. “I worked in Hampden Park taking phone calls and [ticket] orders for games. We trained twice a week at night and played games on Saturday, so I was working 9 to 5 and then having to train. “There was a guy, Andy McGlennan, who had worked at Queen’s Park for years and he was high up at Hampden so sorted a lot of the boys out with jobs. He looked after us and made sure I had some money in my pocket with a bit of hard work. He knew what the dream was and helped me.” Liverpool XI of great Scots Rejection by Celtic, Robertson’s boyhood side who as a fan he watched knock Liverpool out of the 2003 Uefa Cup (his father grew up worshipping Kenny Dalglish), left a scar. “There was a transition going on at Celtic at the time where a new head of youth had come in. I didn’t fit the bill,” said Robertson. “He came from Motherwell, who were full of big lads and were physical. That wasn’t my game. I was small. I’m not big now but it took me time to grow and fill out. “He saw a small guy playing centre-mid, left-mid or left-back who was quite weak. To be fair I was, but I believed in my ability. “That was the first time I had anyone doubt me. Tommy Burns [the former Celtic manager and head of youth development] was great with me and when he died it hit everyone hard. He was different class with me, he liked me as a player, he liked me as a person and he could see what potential I had. “He sadly passed away and Celtic went another route afterwards, one which was hard on some players, but good for others that maybe didn’t fit Tommy’s vision. How much has your Premier League club spent this summer? “Being rejected was quite hard because I was a Celtic fan from birth. It took nearly a full season to get over that disappointment. My first year at Queen’s Park, I just wasn’t good enough, but that tough period shaped me. “I’ve had a few doubters since then, but you’ve just got to continuously prove them wrong because if you are, it means you’re doing things right. Looking back on it now, being released was the best thing that could have happened to me.” So has there been any contact from those at Celtic’s academy who made such an expensive mistake? “I don’t want them being in touch just because of what’s happened now,” he says in the luxurious surrounding of Liverpool’s German training camp in Rottach-Egern. “Would they be in touch if it worked out the other way and I was a PE teacher somewhere? No.” Robertson impressed Jurgen Klopp with his performances as Hull Credit: Getty Images Robertson could not have imagined it was his response to this childhood setback, thriving at Dundee United and Hull City, that caught Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s attention as much as his stylish full-back performances. Klopp empathised with what he described as the 23-year-old’s “incredible personal journey”. “The manager wants to know the person as well as he knows the footballer,” said Robertson. “He was asking me about my story. He told me about himself and wanted to know all about me. “I saw the quotes when I signed for Liverpool and he obviously liked my journey from the bottom of Scottish football to where I am now. It has driven me along.” The Anfield interest in Robertson pre-dates Klopp – he was first under consideration two summers ago – but he left an impression on the German coach when shining for Hull last season. Steve Heighway’s most successful Liverpool Academy XI Robertson lived with the rumours of a Liverpool bid for a while, but said he only felt sure of their interest once an offer was made. “It’s hard because there are scouts at every game. They can tell your agent or whoever they are looking at you, but you never really know,” he said. “I’m sure they go there with an open mind and it is about who catches their eye. That’s the nature of football. You don’t take too much attention until there is a formal bid. There was a lot of speculation about it but that’s football. You just need to get your head down, work hard and make it a reality. “When Liverpool come in it’s a no-brainer and with a manager like here, the first time I spoke to him I was taken away by him and his plans. Obviously I’ve played against his side and know how hard it is against Jurgen Klopp’s team. I want to be part of that team and make it hard for teams to break us down and beat us. A team like Liverpool you are not going to turn down. I couldn’t wait to get here once the fee was agreed.” Robertson will have an immediate chance to impress during Liverpool’s German tour due to a thigh injury to James Milner, who will not feature in the three games. Many believe Roberston will initially be Milner’s deputy, but the youngster has loftier ambitions. Left-back has been a problem position for Liverpool Credit: Getty Images “I’ve come here wanting to be first choice,” he said. “Obviously it is up to the manager as the competition will be big for the position, but it’s one where I’m hoping to come out on top. I don’t like it if I’m not part of the starting team. I don’t like sitting on the bench even when it was very rare at Hull to rest during cup games. I’m not a good spectator, I’m a nightmare when I’m injured and I’m not playing. “I respect the other players and I know how good a job they can do but I’ve just got to bring my A-game and hopefully it’s enough for me to first choice.” With rival Premier League clubs paying £50 million for overlapping full-backs, Robertson could become one of this summer’s bargains. He laughs at the thought of a £10 million purchase being seen as such. “I wouldn’t quite say that,” he said. “We know over the last few years that football’s been a bit crazy. The investment all around the world that is making people spend kind of silly money. I think it’s going to keep going up and up. “You don’t focus on the price tag, you just try to focus on when you get there. The players, themselves, can’t control that. If you’re a wee bit more expensive then there’s maybe more pressure on you, but when you come to big clubs like this one, there is always pressure on you.” Andy Robertson is valued at £3.5m in Telegraph Fantasy Football, but is he good enough to make your team? - pick a team now >>

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson: 'I was at the bottom of the game - that drives me on'

Most successful sports people can recall one crossroads in a career, an event that made the difference between turning professional and reciting the “could have been a contender” speech. For Liverpool’s new £10 million left-back Andy Robertson, there is already a catalogue of such defining moments. At 15, Robertson was told by Celtic he was too small and timid to play at the highest level, a crushing disappointment he says inspired him to prove the sceptics wrong. By 18, now working in the corporate department at Hampden Park while playing amateur football for Queen’s Park, Robertson was given a deadline by his supportive but realistic parents; secure a professional contract in the next 12 months or consider alternatives. Whatever challenges face him at Anfield, Robertson is used to playing for the highest stakes. Robertson is on pre-season tour with Liverpool in Germany “For the first few years when I was in the youth side at Queen’s Park it was fine because I was still at school,” says Robertson. “I was grateful to my mum and dad because [after leaving school] they said, ‘We will give you this season to try and push on and make that dream a reality, but after that you might have to look at other options’. I was going down the line of needing to apply for university or college or maybe becoming a PE teacher or something in sports science. Queen’s Park was amateur so you do not get paid. You need to make a living with that. “I worked in Hampden Park taking phone calls and [ticket] orders for games. We trained twice a week at night and played games on Saturday, so I was working 9 to 5 and then having to train. “There was a guy, Andy McGlennan, who had worked at Queen’s Park for years and he was high up at Hampden so sorted a lot of the boys out with jobs. He looked after us and made sure I had some money in my pocket with a bit of hard work. He knew what the dream was and helped me.” Liverpool XI of great Scots Rejection by Celtic, Robertson’s boyhood side who as a fan he watched knock Liverpool out of the 2003 Uefa Cup (his father grew up worshipping Kenny Dalglish), left a scar. “There was a transition going on at Celtic at the time where a new head of youth had come in. I didn’t fit the bill,” said Robertson. “He came from Motherwell, who were full of big lads and were physical. That wasn’t my game. I was small. I’m not big now but it took me time to grow and fill out. “He saw a small guy playing centre-mid, left-mid or left-back who was quite weak. To be fair I was, but I believed in my ability. “That was the first time I had anyone doubt me. Tommy Burns [the former Celtic manager and head of youth development] was great with me and when he died it hit everyone hard. He was different class with me, he liked me as a player, he liked me as a person and he could see what potential I had. “He sadly passed away and Celtic went another route afterwards, one which was hard on some players, but good for others that maybe didn’t fit Tommy’s vision. How much has your Premier League club spent this summer? “Being rejected was quite hard because I was a Celtic fan from birth. It took nearly a full season to get over that disappointment. My first year at Queen’s Park, I just wasn’t good enough, but that tough period shaped me. “I’ve had a few doubters since then, but you’ve just got to continuously prove them wrong because if you are, it means you’re doing things right. Looking back on it now, being released was the best thing that could have happened to me.” So has there been any contact from those at Celtic’s academy who made such an expensive mistake? “I don’t want them being in touch just because of what’s happened now,” he says in the luxurious surrounding of Liverpool’s German training camp in Rottach-Egern. “Would they be in touch if it worked out the other way and I was a PE teacher somewhere? No.” Robertson impressed Jurgen Klopp with his performances as Hull Credit: Getty Images Robertson could not have imagined it was his response to this childhood setback, thriving at Dundee United and Hull City, that caught Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s attention as much as his stylish full-back performances. Klopp empathised with what he described as the 23-year-old’s “incredible personal journey”. “The manager wants to know the person as well as he knows the footballer,” said Robertson. “He was asking me about my story. He told me about himself and wanted to know all about me. “I saw the quotes when I signed for Liverpool and he obviously liked my journey from the bottom of Scottish football to where I am now. It has driven me along.” The Anfield interest in Robertson pre-dates Klopp – he was first under consideration two summers ago – but he left an impression on the German coach when shining for Hull last season. Steve Heighway’s most successful Liverpool Academy XI Robertson lived with the rumours of a Liverpool bid for a while, but said he only felt sure of their interest once an offer was made. “It’s hard because there are scouts at every game. They can tell your agent or whoever they are looking at you, but you never really know,” he said. “I’m sure they go there with an open mind and it is about who catches their eye. That’s the nature of football. You don’t take too much attention until there is a formal bid. There was a lot of speculation about it but that’s football. You just need to get your head down, work hard and make it a reality. “When Liverpool come in it’s a no-brainer and with a manager like here, the first time I spoke to him I was taken away by him and his plans. Obviously I’ve played against his side and know how hard it is against Jurgen Klopp’s team. I want to be part of that team and make it hard for teams to break us down and beat us. A team like Liverpool you are not going to turn down. I couldn’t wait to get here once the fee was agreed.” Robertson will have an immediate chance to impress during Liverpool’s German tour due to a thigh injury to James Milner, who will not feature in the three games. Many believe Roberston will initially be Milner’s deputy, but the youngster has loftier ambitions. Left-back has been a problem position for Liverpool Credit: Getty Images “I’ve come here wanting to be first choice,” he said. “Obviously it is up to the manager as the competition will be big for the position, but it’s one where I’m hoping to come out on top. I don’t like it if I’m not part of the starting team. I don’t like sitting on the bench even when it was very rare at Hull to rest during cup games. I’m not a good spectator, I’m a nightmare when I’m injured and I’m not playing. “I respect the other players and I know how good a job they can do but I’ve just got to bring my A-game and hopefully it’s enough for me to first choice.” With rival Premier League clubs paying £50 million for overlapping full-backs, Robertson could become one of this summer’s bargains. He laughs at the thought of a £10 million purchase being seen as such. “I wouldn’t quite say that,” he said. “We know over the last few years that football’s been a bit crazy. The investment all around the world that is making people spend kind of silly money. I think it’s going to keep going up and up. “You don’t focus on the price tag, you just try to focus on when you get there. The players, themselves, can’t control that. If you’re a wee bit more expensive then there’s maybe more pressure on you, but when you come to big clubs like this one, there is always pressure on you.” Andy Robertson is valued at £3.5m in Telegraph Fantasy Football, but is he good enough to make your team? - pick a team now >>

Hamilton Academical edge closer to the drop after dismal Motherwell defeat 

FILE PHOTO: Celtic v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

FILE PHOTO: Football Soccer - Celtic v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Celtic Park - 15/5/16. Celtic's Scott Brown celebrates with the trophy and team mates after the game. Action Images via REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/Livepic/File Photo EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

FILE PHOTO: Celtic v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

FILE PHOTO: Football Soccer - Celtic v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Celtic Park - 15/5/16. Celtic's Scott Brown celebrates with the trophy and team mates after the game. Action Images via REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/Livepic/File Photo EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Darren Randolph's journey from Motherwell's bench to first choice goalkeeper at West Ham

Darren Randolph's journey from Motherwell's bench to first choice goalkeeper at West Ham

Celtic march on as Kieran Tierney and Motherwell's Zak Jules learn tough lessons

Celtic march on as Kieran Tierney and Motherwell's Zak Jules learn tough lessons

Celtic add to Motherwell and Mark McGhee's woes while Hearts drop points to fall off the pace

Celtic add to Motherwell and Mark McGhee's woes while Hearts drop points to fall off the pace

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