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 says ‘talk is cheap’
Terry Butcher has pinned up reports of ‘taunts’ by Hamilton Accies staff in the Hibs dressing room to fire up his side for tonight’s play-off first leg.
The Easter Road boss admitted he was aware of comments suggesting Hibs were dreading tonight’s tie - and that he didn’t know his best starting XI - and said he had put them up in the team dressing room to help motivate his players in the fight for the top flight.
Ahead of the showdown at New Douglas Park he said: “I’ve read their comments with great interest. They will be on our dressing room wall. We’ve seen one or two things and taken note but talk is cheap. People say things but it’s not about talk - it’s about action.” (various)
Jamie Walker hopeful for new season
Hearts winger Jamie Walker has said he is hopeful next season will see the team focus on matters on the pitch after a turbulent season.
The player was on his summer holiday last year when he was told the club had gone into administration, and after a tough season which saw Hearts start on mins 15 points and eventually get relegated, Walker said the recent work to get the club into fan ownership had created more stability. And he said knowing they had jobs was a huge boost to the players.
“At least we know we have a job for next season,” he said. “Last summer we didn’t know what was happening and even throughout the season we didn’t know what was happening. But this season there won’t be the same distractions. Hopefully we can start the season well and progress.” (various)
Fan power can roar Hibs to success
Hibs fan power can help roar the team to safety in their play-off battle, according to midfield legend Paul Kane.
Kane was involved in the relegation battle in 1985 when a crowd of 3000 fans inspired Hibs to a win over Dumbarton at Boghead to avoid the drop. And he is convinced the club’s supporters will be able to put aside memories of a miserable campaign and play a vital part in keeping the club in the Premier League.
“The situation wasn’t great back in 1985 but the club put on between 40 and 50 buses for Boghead so our support outnumbered theirs by about three to one. They inspired us because no one wanted to let them down. It’s a slightly different scenario with play-offs this time but I’m sure the fans can play just as big a part.” (Daily Record)
• A day of confusion and farce surrounding Yaya Toure seemingly ended with the player expressing his unhappiness at Manchester City on Tuesday.
• The Football Association may not be able to take action against Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore for sending sexist e-mails, but the governing body can lead the battle for equality in the workplace, according to chair of its inclusion advisory board Heather Rabbatts.
• England manager Roy Hodgson has told his players that World Cup starting places are up for grabs in the coming weeks.
• David Beckham has hailed Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad selection and believes that England can make an impact in Brazil this summer.