Hearts/Hibs round-up: Mackay plea/Sodje arrest

Hearts legend Gary Mackay has urged fans to support manager Gary Locke. Pic: Neil Hanna
Hearts legend Gary Mackay has urged fans to support manager Gary Locke. Pic: Neil Hanna
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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.

Mackay urges fan support for Locke

Hearts legend Gary Mackay has urged the clubs fans not to blame manager Gary Locke for the club’s plight.

Mackay, the club’s all-time record appearance holder, was speaking after an online poll of almost 1000 supporters asked whether Locke should resign as manager following recent heavy defeats.

The poll showed that 51 per cent of those asked felt he should not resign, and Mackay said: “I don’t know how many times I can stress it, but Gary Locke, Billy Brown and the players are being asked to perform a near-impossible task because of the negligence of the previous regime.

“I hear fans saying certain players need to be dropped but the manager is picking the best players available.” (The Sun)

Sodje arrested in match fixing probe

Former Hibs striker Akpo Sodje has been arrested as part of an investigation into match fixing by the National crime agency (NCA).

The 33-year-old was at Easter Road in the 2011-2012 season before moving to Chinese side Tianjin Teda. There is no suggestion his arrest has anything to do with his timer at the Edinburgh club. Sodje currently plays for Tranmere rovers.

No Barca trip for Butcher

Hibs boss Terry Butcher has revealed he won’t be travelling to watch weekend league opponents Celtic in Champions League action in Barcelona tomorrow - but is confident he already knows enough to plan his side for success.

Butcher has an unbeaten record at the club since taking over from Pat Fenlon last month, but joked that chairman Rod Petrie probably wouldn’t pay for a trip to Spain.

He said: “Steve Marsella and myself have said we are going to go to Barcelona and scout the game. that would be a good little trip. But I don’t think Mr Petrie would allow me to do that.

“But of course we had them watched. Celtic and Celtic Park - we’ll go and enjoy it, enjoy the occasion, the challenge.” (The Sun)

In Brief:

• Scottish Professional Football League chief executive Neil Doncaster claims Celtic fans acted “shamefully” at Fir Park on Friday night as he vowed to help the police track down those responsible for wrecking almost 200 seats.

• Senior officials from the five leading sports have been called into a summit meeting with the Government on Tuesday on how to tackle the scourge of match-fixing, it can be revealed.

• Manchester United manager David Moyes insists his players are hurting over the club’s present slump.

• Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is keen for his players to put in a performance in the Champions League Group D match at Bayern Munich that will “change the image” he felt was conveyed by the previous meeting between the clubs.

• Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola insists his team can still keep improving.

• Hull boss Steve Bruce hopes referee Martin Atkinson’s failure to award his side a penalty at Swansea does not prove costly in their quest for Barclays Premier League survival.

• Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet insists regular defensive switches have not been the cause of the Reds’ failure to keep clean sheets.

• New Wigan manager Uwe Rosler wants to forge a harmonious relationship with chairman Dave Whelan that can help them both realise their shared dream of returning to English football’s promised land.