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 calls for second-leg sell-out
Hibs boss Terry Butcher has begged fans to pack out Easter Road and roar on the team on Sunday for the deciding leg of their play-off match against Hamilton Accies.
The Edinburgh club have a 2-0 advantage going into the game, but despite the encouraging result on Wednesday night Butcher knows the job is still not done - and after the travelling support cheered the players to success at New Douglas Park, Butcher wants to ensure there is just as much encouragement from the stands on Sunday.
He said: “we all know there is still a long way to go and we require another strong and gritty display to get over the line together. It was absolutely brilliant to see all the Hibs fans celebrate the goals and the victory. Once more the Hibernian spirit came to the fore and I am sure there will be another wall of noise on Sunday afternoon.” (The Sun)
Crawford takes number two job at Tynecastle
Former Hibs striker Stevie Crawford has been signed up by Robbie Neilson to be his assistant at Hearts.
The ex-Scotland started out on his managerial career as player-boss at East Fife and has been honing his skills at Falkirk for the last three years, working with Steven Pressley and Gary Holt. And as the Tynecastle revolution continues under new owner Ann Budge and Director of Football Craig Levein, Crawford has signed up to the coaching staff, and is set to start on June 1.
Neilson said: “Stevie will assist in player development - he has a great track record of producing talented young players at Falkirk. He’s an international striker with a great career. In the past six or seven years he has been focusing more and more on coaching. He’ll be a big benefit to the club. He has a huge wealth of knowledge and the players will learn from him, especially the attacking players.” (Daily Record)
Henrik odds-on for return to Paradise
Former Hoops idol Henrik Larsson has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Neil Lennon at Celtic.
The idolised striker has been hotly tipped for the role since the lennon announced his departure yesterday - alongside other top candidates and fellow Parkhead old boys Malky Mackay and Paul Lambert.
But while the bookies seem convinced Larsson will be the next man to take over at ‘Paradise’, the Swede played down the suggestions.
The retired striker - now in charge of Falkenberg in his homeland: “I understand that I always will be linked with the job in Celtic after my years in the club as a player.
“Of course I can see myself as manager of Celtic and to go there in the future. But my focus now is on Falkenberg. Nothing else.” (various)
• Wayne Rooney hopes Dr Steve Peters will help him end his nightmare World Cup run.
• Newcastle defender Paul Dummett was the subject of an online death threat on Thursday after Uruguay fans blamed him for the injury that has dealt Luis Suarez a World Cup scare.
• Wayne Rooney is hoping to become the new Manchester United captain, but the striker insists he would have no problem if Robin van Persie was handed the armband instead.
• Neil Lennon claims he has “no idea” what the future holds for him after leaving Celtic.
• Real Madrid star Gareth Bale could be handed the Wales captaincy for next month’s friendly against Holland in Amsterdam.
• Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady is targeting an assault on the Barclays Premier League’s top four next season after a near miss.