A full round-up of the Hearts/Hibs news making the headlines this morning, as well as stories from the rest of Scotland and beyond.
Butcher’s gamble pays off
Terry Butcher admitted it was a gamble to play youngster Jason Cummings in last night’s play-off first leg against Hamilton Accies - but he was thrilled to see it pay off in such spectacular fashion.
The former Hearts youth player bagged a double to put Hibs in the driving seat to remain in the SPL next season. And while the Hibs boss was keen to remind his players the job was only half done, with the second leg at Easter Road on Sunday, he praised 18-year-old Cummings for his confidence.
He said: “It was a gamble in many ways because he hadn’t scored for the first team. He’d scored a hatful for the Under-20s but you are never sure when they can make the jump.
“He’s a confident lad, and we just need to keep him away from post-match interviews because he comes away with some bizarre stuff.” (various)
Firs Division will be no pushover, warns McKay
Hearts defender Brad McKay has warned his teammates there are “no mugs” in the First Division, as the team prepare to fight for promotion back tot he Premier League.
The player was sent out on loan to Stenhousemuir in November 2012, and said his experience of the lower leagues was a real eye-opener because of the standard of football played, warning that Tynecastle side would be seen as a huge scalp for most of the clubs.
He said: “I was shocked by the standard - not in a bad way, but actually by how good it was. These teams are no mugs, that’s for sure. So next season we are going to be a scalp for clubs in our league.
“I think the expectations are high here and rightly so. But it is not going to be easy by any means.” (various)
Swedish minnows say Larsson going nowhere
Swedish minnows Falkenbergs have insisted Henrik Larsson is not set to make a shock return to Celtic to replace Neil Lennon as manager, as the rumour mill in Scotland.
Sporting director Hakan Nilsson spoke out after bookies suspended betting on Hoops hero Larsson becoming the next manager following a flood of big money bets. And he said there had been “no contact” from the Glasgow club, adding: “There may be a lot of rumours in Scotland but nobody is talking about it in Sweden.” (Daily Record)
• England have been piling on the layers in the Algarve to make sure they are ready for the sweltering heat which awaits them in Manaus.
• Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has injured his knee in training and could be a doubt for the World Cup, according to media reports in the country
• Striker Wayne Rooney is determined to prove himself in a World Cup after two indifferent campaigns according to England manager Roy Hodgson.
• Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Paris St-Germain over allegations that their supporters threw bottles and spat at disabled Chelsea fans.