Deadline News http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk News and pictures from Scotland and beyond Sat, 06 Feb 2016 12:51:29 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Linlithgow Rose boss fully aware of size of task that awaits in Scottish Cup against Ross County http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/06/linlithgow-rose-boss-fully-aware-of-size-of-task-that-awaits-in-scottish-cup-against-ross-county/ http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/06/linlithgow-rose-boss-fully-aware-of-size-of-task-that-awaits-in-scottish-cup-against-ross-county/#respond Sat, 06 Feb 2016 12:51:29 +0000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=1077123 BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport Davie McGlynn has joked that he would rather Linlithgow Rose were facing Celtic this afternoon – after watching opponents Ross County pull off a shock against the Hoops in last weekend’s League Cup semi-final. McGlynn is a self-confessed Celtic supporter and was at Hampden for the dual purpose of watching the Parkhead

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BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport

Davie McGlynn has joked that he would rather Linlithgow Rose were facing Celtic this afternoon – after watching opponents Ross County pull off a shock against the Hoops in last weekend’s League Cup semi-final.

McGlynn is a self-confessed Celtic supporter and was at Hampden for the dual purpose of watching the Parkhead side and running the rule over County ahead of today’s Scottish Cup clash.

(Pic: Steve Welsh Photography)
(Pic: Steve Welsh Photography)

The Rose manager was left full of praise for the Staggies and will take his outfit from the juniors to Dingwall with the message of enjoying the ‘fairytale’ occasion – because a win is ‘probably impossible’.

He said: “I’m a Celtic fan – and I would like to have played Celtic after watching them last Sunday!

“But Ross County are a tremendous football team. Jim McIntyre has done a tremendous job wherever he’s gone and credit to him.

“He’s got really good players and he’s got them playing his system, the way he wants to play, and they’re very good at it.

“They could have been 3-0 down last Sunday after 20 minutes but they dug in and they got their rewards for it.

“It’s a fairytale day out for us, isn’t it? We’ve nothing to lose. It’s an experience for the boys and an experience for me.

“A victory? That’s what dreams are about. But in reality you hold your hand up and say it’s probably impossible. You’ve got to be realistic.

“It’s a tremendous achievement to get this far. Our cup final was Forfar and beating Forfar.

“Now, this is just an added bonus, that we’re getting to go up to a professional Premiership outfit to see how far we are away.”

Hassle

McGlynn, nephew of former Raith Rovers and Hearts manager John McGlynn, took over at Linlithgow in the summer and is hopeful the Scottish Cup run is a sign that fortunes are being turned around at Prestonfield.

And he reckons their marathon journey on the road to Hampden, which will break the 2000-mile mark today, has helped to galvanise his squad for the challenges ahead in the junior ranks.

He added: “All the hassle we’ve had with the Wick games being called off and everything else has definitely brought the players closer together, 100 per cent.

“The character they’ve shown in the last wee while has been great.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, what cup you’re playing or what league game it is, if you’ve got 11 players on the pitch and another seven at the back of you screaming you on and wanting you to win, we’ll do better than most teams.

“This is a great achievement for the club, to get this far, and a great reward for everything we’ve been through in the tournament so far.”

@IainCollin

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Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson will have no qualms about playing Osman Sow in crunch Hibs match http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/hearts-head-coach-robbie-neilson-will-have-no-qualms-about-playing-osman-sow-in-crunch-hibs-match/ http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/hearts-head-coach-robbie-neilson-will-have-no-qualms-about-playing-osman-sow-in-crunch-hibs-match/#respond Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:45:08 +0000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=1077091 @CCP_sport Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson insists Osman Sow will decide whether he wants to make his Tynecastle swan song in tomorrow’s crunch Scottish Cup tie with fierce city rivals Hibs. But even if Sow determines that the risk is not worth taking, Neilson insists new striker Abi Dauda is even better than the Swede.

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Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson insists Osman Sow will decide whether he wants to make his Tynecastle swan song in tomorrow’s crunch Scottish Cup tie with fierce city rivals Hibs.

But even if Sow determines that the risk is not worth taking, Neilson insists new striker Abi Dauda is even better than the Swede.

Striker Sow jetted back into Edinburgh yesterday following an an epic 6,000 mile trek from Hong Kong where he completed a life-changing seven-figure transfer to Chinese side Henan Jianye.

robbieneilson
Sunday’s meeting is the first match between the sides since April 2015

As part of the agreement, the 25-year-old is allowed to make a farewell appearance in Sunday’s mouth-watering fifth round tie.

But following a whirlwind week for the Hearts favourite, Neilson, who insists new signings Dauda, John Souttar and Don Cowie will all play some part in the game, admits Sow will have the final say on whether he plays.

Neilson said: “I spoke to Osman and he’s fine. He did a wee bit of running over there but it’s dependent on what Os wants to do.

“It’s a big contract he has out there and he has to be in the right frame of mind. If he wants to play then he’ll play.

“The deal is done and the agreement was that he comes back. He’s back for a few days for the game and to get his stuff.

“It will all be down to Osman and what he wants to do, we’ll respect what he wants to do.

“When I spoke to him before he left he was desperate to play in the game, that might have changed.

“I always think if you’re going into a game concerned that something might happen, then it will happen.

“You’re as well as just getting on with it. Any player that plays in any game has a value. Jamie Walker has a value, Sam Nicholson has value – so if we were worried about that we would never play them. It’s not an issue for us.

“It would be nice if he could come back and score the winning goal. We’ll wait and see what he does. If he decides to play then great, if he doesn’t then we’ve got other guys that can come in.”

Should Sow decide to be a spectator tomorrow, Neilson is more than confident that 28-year-old Nigerian Dauda, who signed on loan from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem and has also played in Sweden and Serbia, can fill the void left by the former Crystal Palace player.

Neilson added: “Dauda is a wee bit different from Osman. He’s got great pace and his movement is probably better than Osman.

“Osman can make something out of nothing, he’s got a magic that he can create something. Dauda is probably a better all-round footballer.

“Dauda’s technically better dealing with the ball and with his movement, but that comes from the experience of playing in the top flight in three different countries.”

Neilson, who insists there is no urgency in sorting out a new contract for himself with 18 month to run on his current deal, is hoping his team have too much power for Hibs to handle on Sunday.

He said: “There’s two good teams there. Hibs are a good passing team, they’ve got a diamond in the midfield, they get a lot of possession and they get their full backs high.

“We play a different style of football, we’ve got a lot more athletic players, a lot of power and a lot of pace but we’ve also got good passers of the ball.

“We’ll also have a huge crowd backing us on Sunday. We’ll go into the game with full confidence we can get a result.”

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Mark Oxley on Edinburgh derby ticket rush – as Alan Stubbs prepares for noise of 60,000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/mark-oxley-on-edinburgh-derby-ticket-rush-as-alan-stubbs-prepares-for-noise-of-60000/ http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/mark-oxley-on-edinburgh-derby-ticket-rush-as-alan-stubbs-prepares-for-noise-of-60000/#respond Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:35:29 +0000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=1077095 BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport Mark Oxley insists the Edinburgh derby can compete with any rivalry British football has to offer – after revealing even the Hibs players are struggling to get their hands on extra tickets. Sunday’s clash at Tynecastle has been sold-out for weeks as punters eagerly anticipate the only meeting between the

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BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport

Mark Oxley insists the Edinburgh derby can compete with any rivalry British football has to offer – after revealing even the Hibs players are struggling to get their hands on extra tickets.

Sunday’s clash at Tynecastle has been sold-out for weeks as punters eagerly anticipate the only meeting between the sides this season.

Oxley’s mum and dad will be in attendance, however some of his teammates have seen requests for additional briefs knocked back, such is the demand for the tie of the round in the Scottish Cup last-16.

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Oxley can’t wait to face Hearts tomorrow afternoon

And Oxley reckons it is just another example of how much the fixture means to the capital after lapping up the four encounters between the sides last season.

He lauded: “I think this derby is as big as any across the country, maybe even England. It’s a capital city and a massive fixture.

“We’ve been looking forward to this for a while. A few of the lads have been trying to get extra tickets and can’t get them!

“As soon as the draw was made the lads were buzzing, this is something we have probably missed with Hearts going up last year. We want to take the opportunity with both hands.

“Last year I realised what this game meant to people. Obviously I was aware it is a derby, but you see what a massive thing it is for the city. Edinburgh lives and breathes football.

“When I played in the games last year you could see what it means to the fans. In town you get the heckles from the Hearts fans and chat with Hibs fans. But that is why I signed for a club in Scotland – the fans love it.”

The Hibees are chasing Gorgie glory for the second time in eight days after defeating St Johnstone 2-1 in the League Cup semi-final at Tynecastle last Saturday.

While that clash saw three sides of the stadium packed with Hibs fans, Oxley can expect a more hostile welcome at the compact home of their city rivals this time.

He smiled: “I like the fans being so close to the fans honest, it’s part and parcel of football.

“At some of the new grounds these days you are miles away from the fans and it’s not the same atmosphere and, with it being a derby, there will be that extra spice.

“You hear everything but it doesn’t bother me! You’ve got to enjoy that and embrace it. You get the usual shouts every week – ‘ginger’ and all that! But you take it with a pinch of salt.

“Hendo [Liam Henderson] nearly got a bovril thrown over him last week! No, it was great last week, the fans turned out in their numbers and were right behind us.

“Luckily we have put ourselves in the position where every match is a big one, not only the cup games but in the league. We need to thrive on that.”

Atmosphere

Meanwhile, Alan Stubbs reckons 17,000 will sound like 60,000 at Tynecastle when the Edinburgh derby sweeps back into town tomorrow.

And the Hibs head coach, who believes Hearts are slight favourites for the contest, is adamant the interest surrounding the tie illustrates how much Scottish football has missed the fixture this term.

He added: “Whenever you see a major broadcaster wanting the game, whether it be Sky or BT, that tells you there is a clamour for it nationwide, not just across Scotland.

“I have had a few people [in England] comment on how good our games have been against Rangers. They have said they enjoyed them more than some Premier League games. They have a bit of everything.

“The football is good, there is blood and thunder, there’s some old fashioned challenges flying in, there’s a great atmosphere – and there will be all that Sunday at Tynecastle.

“I know good an atmosphere it can be there. As a player that is what it is all about. Sometimes 17,000, as it will be on Sunday, can generate as much noise as 60,000.”

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Linlithgow Rose defender keen to make most of Ross County clash after fearing red card had ended Scottish Cup dream http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/linlithgow-rose-defender-keen-to-make-most-of-ross-county-clash-after-fearing-red-card-had-ended-scottish-cup-dream/ http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/linlithgow-rose-defender-keen-to-make-most-of-ross-county-clash-after-fearing-red-card-had-ended-scottish-cup-dream/#respond Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:31:47 +0000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=1077117 BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport Gary Thom feared Linlithgow Rose would be left feeling green with envy after he saw red against Forfar Athletic in the last round. But the former Stenhousemuir defender is determined the juniors will not run up the white flag as they prepare for the latest battle in their epic Scottish Cup

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BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport

Gary Thom feared Linlithgow Rose would be left feeling green with envy after he saw red against Forfar Athletic in the last round.

But the former Stenhousemuir defender is determined the juniors will not run up the white flag as they prepare for the latest battle in their epic Scottish Cup journey against Ross County this afternoon.

Thom was sent-off in conceding the penalty that allowed Forfar to take a 2-1 advantage in the fourth round tie between the teams last month, a lead that quickly stretched to 3-1 just three minutes later.

(Pic: Steve Welsh Photography)
(Pic: Steve Welsh Photography)

The 26-year-old sat in the Prestonfield dressing room contemplating the end of a Cup run that had already taken the East Superleague outfit on a meandering road to Hampden.

However, with Davie McGlynn’s side storming back to earn a replay and then easing past the Loons in extra-time in that second game, the West Lothian club will fly the flag for junior football in Dingwall this afternoon.

It is a mouthwatering tie that Thom has confessed he thought had slipped through their grasp when he bundled over Scott Martin in the box.

Thom, a chemical engineer at the nearby oil refinery at Grangemouth, said: “I did think that when I was sent-off in the first game against Forfar that that was the end of the journey for the club.

“Having been sent-off I was sitting in the dressing room on my own thinking about what had happened.

“But, when I came back out, I was delighted to see the goals go in to give us a chance in the replay.

“I always felt confident, and we felt confident as a team, against Forfar, even though we went up there with a depleted squad.

“I was helpless in the replay. I just had to sit and watch and support the guys, but we’ve got a good squad here so I was hopeful we could get through.

“The boys deserve great credit and these are big games and you look forward to playing in, because they don’t come around that often for us.”

As if the prospect of facing Premiership opposition was not already challenging enough, County’s victory over Celtic in last weekend’s League Cup semi-final just emphasised the task awaiting Linlithgow.

Thom added: “In any cup you look forward to the draw and who you’re going to get and Ross County are obviously flying high in the Premiership at the moment.

“They’ll be on an even bigger high after beating Celtic last week as well, but it would be good if they had burned themselves out a bit!

“But we’ve just got to concentrate on the game and try and put on as good a performance for our fans, because I’m sure there will be a lot of them travelling up for the game.”

(Pic: Steve Welsh Photography)
Colin Strickland, Andy Shirra, assistant-manager Calvin Shand and Gary Thom (left to right) enjoy the Scottish Cup build-up (Pic: Steve Welsh Photography)

Linlithgow will break the 2000-mile mark when they head to Dingwall today, with an incredible tournament sending them on trips to Gala and Inverness, as well as to Wick and Forfar twice.

The continual call-offs of midweek games in Wick earlier in the campaign proved difficult for Rose’s part-time players, many of whom had to take holidays to play.

But Thom confesses there have been few complaints this week about the anticipation of another lengthy sojourn north as they prepare to take on Premiership opposition.

They former Stirling Albion and East Fife player said: “We’re really looking forward to this game, after what has been some journey in the cup for us.

“We’ve covered some amount of miles.

“But we’re not bothered about the travelling we’re having to do for this game.

“To get this far and be involved in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup is some achievement and it’s about going out and enjoying it.”

@IainCollin

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Hearts legend Rudi Skacel admits his heart will be at Tynecastle this weekend http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/hearts-legend-rudi-skacel-admits-his-heart-will-be-at-tynecastle-this-weekend/ http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/hearts-legend-rudi-skacel-admits-his-heart-will-be-at-tynecastle-this-weekend/#respond Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:30:50 +0000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=1077087 @CCP_sport Hearts legend Rudi Skacel’s mind will be in the Czech Republic on Sunday but his heart will be at Tynecastle. The midfielder is currently undergoing a mid-season training break with Mlada Boleslav and a friendly clash against Taborsko means the two-time Scottish Cup winner will not be able to watch the mouth-watering fifth round

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@CCP_sport

Hearts legend Rudi Skacel’s mind will be in the Czech Republic on Sunday but his heart will be at Tynecastle.

The midfielder is currently undergoing a mid-season training break with Mlada Boleslav and a friendly clash against Taborsko means the two-time Scottish Cup winner will not be able to watch the mouth-watering fifth round tie against city rivals Hibs.

Already a cup winner from 2006 when Hearts beat Gretna at Hampden, Skacel enhanced his reputation among the club’s fans when he scored twice in the incredible 5-1 victory over Hibs in the 2012 final.

rudiskacel
Skacel first joined Hearts in 2005 on loan from Marseille

And Skacel admits this weekend’s eagerly-awaited clash at Tynecastle is sure to be just as special.

Speaking to Capital City Press, he said: “The game is a similar time to a match over here so I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it.

“But I can imagine it will be a great atmosphere and it will be an amazing game for Edinburgh and for Scotland.

“It will be a great occasion. It’s a big game and it will be unbelievable atmosphere.

“I definitely miss the atmosphere of Tynecastle, it is amazing – especially for a derby game.

“Any full stadium is amazing but Tynecastle is special for me. Any football player loves to play in games like this in a full stadium and especially a derby.

“That’s why I think it’s important that both Hibs and Rangers get back to the Premiership quickly because you need big games and need the derby.

“It’s not good when you’re missing a big derby, Scottish football needs matches like that.”

Skacel, who scored a total of 48 goals over two separate spells at Hearts, is keen for the current crop of Hearts players to create new memories for the fans in this fixture.

He added: “I have nice memories of the past but now I look to the future.

“It’s a different story and different teams but it will be a great occasion. It’s a chance to get into the quarter finals

“I try not to look back, I focus on the future and the season.”

Future

A lot has happened at Hearts since Skacel played his last game for the club in that final at Hampden.

Under the ownership of Ann Budge and backed by fans group the Foundation of Hearts, Hearts are looking to the future with optimism following the devastating effects of going into administration.

Skacel added: “It’s amazing what the Foundation of Hearts and the supporters have done for the club.

“The club have done really well and I think they should be aiming for second place so they can qualify for a Europa League place too.”

Skacel, meanwhile, admits he has rediscovered his love for the game at the age of 36.

The attacking midfielder, who had a spell at Dundee United during the 2012/13 campaign, added: “I thought I was maybe finished but life is strange.

“Last summer I had a last minute offer from my old manager (Karl Jarolim) to join him during for pre-season because he was looking for a couple of experienced players to be mentors to the younger players.

“We signed a deal for one-year and I feel really well and I’m enjoying football again.

“Milan Baros is also here and we try to help the younger players.

“At this moment I feel fit and the fact I can still keep up with the young boys gives me energy and motivation.

“Although in the last couple of years I’ve been called the grandpa in the changing room.”

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New Hearts striker Abi Dauda reckons he can handle derby after experiencing Belgrade madness http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/new-hearts-striker-abi-dauda-reckons-he-can-handle-derby-after-experiencing-belgrade-madness/ http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/new-hearts-striker-abi-dauda-reckons-he-can-handle-derby-after-experiencing-belgrade-madness/#respond Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:20:28 +0000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=1077096 @CCP_sport New Hearts striker Abi Dauda insists he can survive a baptism of fire in tomorrow’s powder-keg Scottish Cup clash with Hibs after recalling the mayhem that blighted the Belgrade derby. Dauda is set to be handed an immediate debut in the televised fifth round tie after joining on Monday from Vitesse Arnhem on loan

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New Hearts striker Abi Dauda insists he can survive a baptism of fire in tomorrow’s powder-keg Scottish Cup clash with Hibs after recalling the mayhem that blighted the Belgrade derby.

Dauda is set to be handed an immediate debut in the televised fifth round tie after joining on Monday from Vitesse Arnhem on loan until the end of the season.

Showdowns between the Edinburgh sides are renowned for being combustible affairs but Dauda is unlikely to be fazed following his experiences with Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade.

(Pic: Twitter @JamTarts)
Dauda has played in Sweden, Serbia and the Netherlands previously (Pic: Twitter @JamTarts)

The Nigerian admits their own fans would set off fireworks during training in the days leading up to derby clashes, while Partizan hooligans lit fires in the stadium during a victory for Red Star in November 2013.

Dauda said: “The Red Star-Partizan derby is really big.

“In Belgrade, everything starts always two weeks before the game.

“A lot of fans come to the training pitch and they bring fireworks with them, set them off at the training ground.

“They make us understand that this is a game for them, that we have to win it for them. We have to respect that.

“Yeah, it’s scary – quite a few fans would be there, setting off fireworks at the training pitch.

“Then there would be trouble at the game, fighting and destroying seats.

“The last time, there was a fire in the stadium and we had to stop the game.

“We won that game 1-0 and that was important for the title.

 

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The Belgrade derby in question in November 2013

“If we lost that derby our own supporters would turn on us. I don’t think you could walk the streets for the next few weeks.

“For sure that’s difficult pressure for a footballer. But it’s about having mental strength.

“I think if I can handle the Red Star-Partizan derby, I can handle anything.

“It was always played in front of 50,000 fans, a huge atmosphere. What more could you want?”

Dauda has arrived as Hearts forward Osman Sow gets set to make a farewell appearance against Hibs after sealing a life-changing move to Chinese club Henan Jianye.

And the 28-year-old, who has also played in Sweden with Solvesborgs and Kalmar FF, is keen to kick-start his career following a frustrating spell in the Netherlands.

He added: “I came for the opportunity to play and to find myself again after a difficult time at Vitesse.

“I wasn’t getting as many games as I wanted. The coach just preferred other players, I guess.

“I didn’t know so much about Scottish football. Back in Sweden they showed a lot of Celtic games when Henrik Larsson was there.

“I know about the Rangers and Celtic rivalry, then Hibs and Hearts, Aberdeen – all the top teams here.”

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Jason Talbot determined Dunfermline can go on another unbeaten run after Airdrie defeat http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/jason-talbot-determined-dunfermline-can-go-on-another-unbeaten-run-after-airdrie-defeat/ http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/jason-talbot-determined-dunfermline-can-go-on-another-unbeaten-run-after-airdrie-defeat/#respond Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:07:47 +0000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=1077112 BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport Jason Talbot insists defeat to Airdrie will not shatter Dunfermline’s confidence that they can go on and clinch the League One title this season. The Pars were flying high, on the back of a 15-game undefeated run in the league, but were brought crashing back down to earth by the 1-0

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BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport

Jason Talbot insists defeat to Airdrie will not shatter Dunfermline’s confidence that they can go on and clinch the League One title this season.

The Pars were flying high, on the back of a 15-game undefeated run in the league, but were brought crashing back down to earth by the 1-0 loss to the Diamonds last Friday.

The shock reverse robbed Allan Johnston’s men of the opportunity to stretch their lead at the top of the table to a commanding 10 points.

(Pic: www.dafc.co.uk)
(Pic: www.dafc.co.uk)

With second-placed Ayr United now seven points behind, with a game in hand, there will be a belief at Somerset Park that the title race remains very firmly in the balance.

However, Talbot, who knows just what it takes to win promotion after skippering Livingston to the Third Division and Second Division titles in successive seasons, has urged the hurting Fifers side to remain positive and now embark on another undefeated sequence that can lead them back to the Championship.

Ahead of this afternoon’s trip to face Stenhousemuir, the defender said: “I know we got beat last Friday, but we’ve still got to have the belief that we’re a great side.

“You don’t turn from a good team into a bad one just because of one loss.

“All great teams get beat at some stage, so we just have to keep our confidence and keep the momentum going as much as we can.

“It starts again against Stenhousemuir, to try and get another unbeaten run going and to try and pick up as many points as possible.

“We need to try and build that gap up again. It was nine and it’s down to seven but we need to stretch away again.

“That’s the attitude we need to have.

Proud

“Every team’s going to get beat at some point. But we have to look at it and say ‘it’s our first defeat in 16 games’.

“That’s a massive achievement for any club at any level. To go 15 games unbeaten is a proud moment for all the boys in that dressing room.

“Now, we have to set our standards as high as possible again.

“We’ve not scored in the last three games, so one team’s due a thumping and hopefully it will be Saturday.”

A solitary goal from Jamie Bain shocked Dunfermline last Friday but Talbot is confident the Pars have quickly got over the blow.

The 30-year-old former Bolton Wanderers trainee added: “Obviously we’re disappointed, because we want to win every game. That’s what we have to do, that’s how high our standards are.

“We had the weekend off to regroup and gather our thoughts, which was nice of the management team, to allow us to have that breathing space.

“We came in on Monday and training was fantastic, and Tuesday was the same. It’s been lively, there’s been a great atmosphere, so hopefully Saturday’s looking good.”

@IainCollin

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Grand Slam legend Roy Laidlaw proud as nephew Greig equals his caps haul for Scotland http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/grand-slam-legend-roy-laidlaw-proud-as-nephew-greig-equals-his-caps-haul-for-scotland/ http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/grand-slam-legend-roy-laidlaw-proud-as-nephew-greig-equals-his-caps-haul-for-scotland/#respond Fri, 05 Feb 2016 22:34:21 +0000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=1077102 BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport Grand Slam legend Roy Laidlaw will be bursting with pride today as nephew Greig equals his caps total in a Scotland jersey. And Roy hopes victory over England will give the family a double reason for celebration. Greig will captain Scotland in this afternoon’s Calcutta Cup clash desperate for the team

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BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport

Grand Slam legend Roy Laidlaw will be bursting with pride today as nephew Greig equals his caps total in a Scotland jersey.

And Roy hopes victory over England will give the family a double reason for celebration.

Greig will captain Scotland in this afternoon’s Calcutta Cup clash desperate for the team to build on an impressive World Cup campaign that ended in such heart-breaking circumstances in the gut-wrenching quarter-final defeat to Australia.

(Pic: Clement Bucco-Lechat)
(Pic: Clement Bucco-Lechat)

The mouthwatering encounter will see the 30-year-old scum-half draw level on appearances with his uncle, whose half-back partnership with the great John Rutherford helped lead the nation to their Grand Slam triumph in 1984.

And Roy is optimistic Vern Cotter’s side can emerge victorious, with Greig to the fore as skipper.

“It’s a great honour for the Laidlaw family that Greig’s going on to 47 caps and hopefully he’ll get many more,” said Roy before heading to Edinburgh to join legends from both sides of the border for last night’s Auld Enemy dinner at the Balmoral Hotel.

“Every cap you get to play for Scotland is a great honour. Of course, they play a lot more games now – it took me nine years to get to 47 caps, and I hardly missed a game!

“Greig knows that every cap he gets is special and he has turned into a very good captain. He’s always had a very good rugby brain on him and he’s a good communicator with the squad. You can see that they respect him.

“Very few players have the full package and he’s not got the full package either, but he’s got so many good qualities you could hardly leave him out of the team.

“He’s very level headed but at the same time he doesn’t like getting beat, he hates it.”

Passion

That passion for his country was clearly evident in the interview Greig was forced to carry out live on TV in the immediate aftermath of the controversial last-gasp quarter-final loss to the Wallabies at Twickenham back in October.

Today’s Calcutta Cup showdown is sure not to lack emotion either, but Roy is hopeful the burning sense of injustice – combined with some calm decision-making from the captain – can drive the Scots on to victory at BT Murrayfield.

“I hope they do use the World Cup to spur them on in the Six Nations,” added the 62-year-old. “I hope they’re bloody angry and they want to show everybody they can win big games.

“We did bring a wee bit on ourselves in the Australia game. The line-out throw wasn’t the cleverest. You need to be thinking in a crisis and that’s one thing Greig’s pretty good at.

“He’s usually ahead of the game when it comes to making decisions.

“Looking at the Scotland team, it kind of looks like we know who they are. We’ve got a front row and second row and back row that looks quite settled.

“Our backs are a wee bit lightweight but we’re capable of playing some decent rugby.”

Some Scots fear England could revert to stereotype and turn the match into an ‘arm-wrestle’, a scenario that would not suit the lighter-weight home nation.

But Roy added: “I think it’ll be a tight game and every point will be a prisoner, I would think.

“But I think Eddie Jones will want England to play. There has to be some entertainment as well. Yes, winning’s important but you’ve got to play some decent rugby to entertain the crowd.”

@IainCollin

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Elgin City manager Jim Weir insists pal Gus MacPherson is wasted in League Two http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/elgin-city-manager-jim-weir-insists-pal-gus-macpherson-is-wasted-in-league-two/ http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/elgin-city-manager-jim-weir-insists-pal-gus-macpherson-is-wasted-in-league-two/#respond Fri, 05 Feb 2016 22:26:11 +0000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=1077103 @CCP_sport Elgin City manager Jim Weir insists pal Gus MacPherson is wasted in League Two. Weir will go head-to-head with his Queens Park counterpart in the dugout this afternoon, with the Black and Whites looking to maintain their lead at the summit. Even though Weir will be doing his utmost to mastermind a win for

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@CCP_sport

Elgin City manager Jim Weir insists pal Gus MacPherson is wasted in League Two.

Weir will go head-to-head with his Queens Park counterpart in the dugout this afternoon, with the Black and Whites looking to maintain their lead at the summit.

Even though Weir will be doing his utmost to mastermind a win for the Highland outfit over the Spiders for the first time since November 2013, the former St Johnstone defender insists ex-St Mirren boss MacPherson is too good for the Scotland’s bottom tier.

gusmacpherson
MacPherson managed St Mirren between 2003 and 2010

Weir said: “Gus is a personal friend of mine as is Chris Hillcoat on the backroom staff.

“You go through your career and there are very few you keep in touch with but Gus is one of them.

“We did our Pro-License together and I’ve always had a lot of respect for him.

“For me, I think he is managing at a level way below his qualification.

“No disrespect to the league but I really think Gus has a lot more to offer at a higher level.

“I’d like to see him get back to that level, but of course not at our expense.

“His players know how to play the system that he wants and they play it very well, at Hampden in particular.

“They’re a really hard working side and they put demands on each other, and they’ve got that street-wise bit about their team. Credit to Gus for that.”

Elgin have a five point lead over Queens Park at the summit and Weir admits it’s imperative that gap is not reduced.

He added: “When you play the teams around you, it’s important if you’ve got points over them that you don’t lose that.

“We know we’ve got a long way to go, there’s 14 games to go.

“Queens Park is probably the only side we’ve not taken a victory from in my time and that’s something we’re looking to rectify.”

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Memorial bench to mothers stolen http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/memorial-bench-to-mothers-stolen/ http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2016/02/05/memorial-bench-to-mothers-stolen/#respond Fri, 05 Feb 2016 17:05:21 +0000 http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=1077076 VILE thieves have stolen a hand-built memorial bench created by a devoted son as a tribute to his mother and mother-in-law. Peter Tucker, 68, crafted the bench at Bowmont Forest in Kelso, Scottish Borders, only seven months ago. It was sited at the spot where his late mother, Dorothy, and mother-in-law, Pearl Dalgleish, regularly visited

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VILE thieves have stolen a hand-built memorial bench created by a devoted son as a tribute to his mother and mother-in-law.

Peter Tucker, 68, crafted the bench at Bowmont Forest in Kelso, Scottish Borders, only seven months ago.

It was sited at the spot where his late mother, Dorothy, and mother-in-law, Pearl Dalgleish, regularly visited to enjoy the views.

bench 2
The hand made bench before it was stolen.

But to the shock of Peter and his wife, Christine, 67, the bench disappeared last week.

Peter said: “We are just in disbelief over it all. On the Monday we were on a walk and saw it, then by Tuesday it was gone.

“It holds such sentimental value. I don’t know why anyone would do it.

“We saw a van stop there in the evening it went missing but didn’t think anything of it.”

IMG_0911
The view that Peter’s mother and mother-in-law loved.

Christine said: “When our mums were still around, they would always go to the spot.

“We would wheel my mum up in her wheelchair and she would say that it would be useful to have a bench there for us to sit on as well.”

After Christine’s mum, Pearl passed away in 2009 followed by Peter’s mum in 2012, the couple decided a few years later to build the bench they had always talked about.

Christina added: “When we got the go ahead that we were allowed to build the bench, Peter decided on a design.

IMG_1157
Pearl and Dorothy on Mothering Sunday.

“He designed and made it himself so it is very personal to us.”

The thieves went to extraordinary lengths to steal the bench as the legs was buried over a foot  into the ground and the structure was further secured by a heavy iron bar about 18 inches down and cemented in.

Christine said: “It is unique so I’d like to think if someone recognises it from a neighbour’s garden or something they would come forward.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Our enquiries are ongoing into the theft of a public bench from Bowmont Forest. The wooden structure was removed from a parcel of land between 4pm on Monday January 25th and 3pm on Tuesday, January 26th.

“Anyone who noticed suspicious behaviour in the area around the time should contact police on 101 or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously.”

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