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Summary

  1. Robbie Neilson to clarify future amid MK Dons interest
  2. Hearts head coach hails players following victory over Rangers
  3. Celtic & Rangers media conferences

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan

All times stated are UK

Tune into Sportsound

That's all for today. Sportsound is just starting on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW.

Host Kenny Macintyre is joined by Tom English, Keith Jackson and Jamie Fullarton to discuss the day's hot topics.

Man in the mask

Hearts staff had a laugh at the media's expense this afternoon, with this chap in a fool-proof disguise throwing waiting reporters off the scent.

In his Robbie Neilson mask, he drove away from the assembled press pack and picked up the head coach, who had nipped out of another exit at the Edinburgh club's training complex.

We're still waiting for official confirmation of Neilson's move to MK Dons.

Robbie Neilson stunt double
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Andy Halliday speaks to the Rangers management team

Rangers midfielder Andy Halliday admits the Ibrox side "are letting the manager and the fans down just now".

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Newcastle say no Hearts contact on Cathro

Newcastle United say they have had no approach from Hearts for Ian Cathro as Tynecastle head coach Robbie Neilson prepares to move to MK Dons.

Cathro is the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Neilson, who confirmed after his team's victory over Rangers on Wednesday that discussions were continuing after the English League One club made an official approach on Monday.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez said: "Ian is a great coach. We don't have any official approach. We are happy with him and we will continue with that. He is a young coach, he has some experience and has a great future. 

"The media is telling me Hearts will come, but it depends on the head coach they have at the moment if he goes or not. That is football. It is just speculation."

Ian Cathro
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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers with midfielder Liam Henderson

Manager Brendan Rodgers insists his fringe players will be "critical" as Premiership leaders Celtic prepare for a busy December.

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McClaren 'keeping track' of Scottish-based players

Derby County manager Steve McClaren was pictured at Tynecastle on Wednesday as Hearts beat Rangers and was asked about his trip to Edinburgh at his media conference earlier today.

"Our scouts have been out and about and they talked about Rangers doing well and they've got some good players," said McClaren.

"There's four or five in the Hearts team also and people were talking about [Callum] Paterson, [John] Souttar, [Bjorn] Johnsen, [Jamie] Walker.

"It was a great opportunity to go up and do that like we've always done. We're always on the look out and keeping track of players so that's why I was there."

Steve McClaren
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McClaren at Tynecastle last night
Aberdeen and Rangers players

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes reckons Rangers are favourites to finish second in the Premiership but backs his side to be runners-up.

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Hibernian are three points clear of Dundee United at the top of the table

Friday's top-of-the-table visit to Tannadice is a chance for Hibernian to "lay down a marker," says manager Neil Lennon.

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McInnes 'surprised' if Neilson leaves Hearts

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says he would be "quite surprised" if Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson leaves to join MK Dons.

Neilson, 36, is expected to be appointed by the League One club.

"I don't know the ins and outs of it," said McInnes. "But, if Robbie does leave, I am quite surprised.

"Hearts is a fantastic club. I think Robbie acknowledged he still had a lot of things he wanted to achieve there and do.

"He's done a very good job at Hearts. If he does leave I'm sure he'll continue his good work at MK Dons."

Derek McInnes and Robbie Neilson
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McInnes and Neilson led their sides to second and third in the Premiership last season
Southampton assistant manager Eric Black

Southampton conclude there is no evidence to support allegations of wrongdoing against assistant manager Eric Black.

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Head for heights?

Celtic 'best team' but 'beatable'

Motherwell v Celtic (Sat)

Motherwell player-assistant manager James McFadden faced the media today ahead of Saturday's lunchtime meeting with Celtic.

"We are under no illusions," said McFadden. "They are by far the best team in the league, we know that.

"They are going to win the league so as long as they are switched on they could win the Scottish Cup but we are still in it, so we are going to say we want to do our best in it.

"Right now it looks like they are going to win the treble and I don't think anyone would be surprised if they do.

"But they are beatable and that is the mindset for us so we will go and try to win the game."

James McFadden
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Neilson ready for MK Dons - Smith

Robbie Neilson's former colleague Alex Smith believes the Hearts head coach will relish the opportunity to be MK Dons manager - if he moves south.

Neilson is expected to be appointed the English League One club's new boss, subject to compensation being agreed. 

Former Aberdeen and St Mirren manager Smith, now Falkirk's technical director, worked with Neilson at the Bairns.

"He might feel he's got the ability now to fly out there and do his own things," Smith told BBC Scotland.

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Alex Smith and Robbie Neilson
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Smith and Neilson worked at Falkirk before the latter joined Hearts

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Rangers to get 'right back on the horse'

Striker Kenny Miller says Rangers were deflated following their display in last night's Premiership defeat by Hearts at Tynecastle.

"It was disappointing to say the least, a disappointing result, a disappointing performance and from start to finish we never played anywhere near where we want to play," he told his club website.

“All credit to Hearts, they pressed us, stopped us from doing what we do, forced mistakes and capitalised on the two chances to score goals so for us it was really disappointing.

"A lot of the reasons we weren’t good enough was down to them and they did force us to kick the ball long.

"The games are coming thick and fast and we need to get right back on the horse, correct the wrongs from [the defeat by Hearts] going into the game on Saturday.

Read Richard Wilson's match report here 

Rangers striker Kenny Miller in action at Tynecastle
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Kenny Miller acknowledged a frustrating night for Rangers at Tynecastle

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What's on the back pages?

  • Outgoing Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson hailed his players following their victory against Rangers ahead of finalising his move to English League One outfit MK Dons
  • Mark Warburton described his Rangers side's display in the defeat by Hearts at Tynecastle as "unacceptable" and has demanded a positive response against Aberdeen at the weekend
  • Austin MacPhee has emerged as the frontrunner to be named the SFA's performance director. MacPhee, currently part of Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill's backroom staff, has impressed following a series of interviews
  • Malky Mackay would bring "a real knowledge and work ethic" to the vacant SFA performance director role, according to Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes

Read our round-up of the top stories here

Austin MacPhee
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Austin MacPhee has been linked with the SFA's performance director vacancy

Hearts 2-0 Rangers

Highlights: Hearts 2-0 Rangers, Scottish Premiership

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Neilson's Hearts future to be 'clarified'

Robbie Neilson says his future will be "clarified" today after guiding Hearts to victory over Rangers.

The 2-0 win moved his side to second in the Premiership, but Neilson is expected to leave to become MK Dons manager.

However, Neilson refused to be drawn on his position and insisted the focus should be on his players.

"Tonight's about the players, the club, not me," insisted the 36-year-old former Hearts player.

"I'll be in tomorrow morning as usual and we'll have discussions and talk about things.

"It's been a phenomenal journey, and tonight's taken the club back where it belongs."

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson
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Robbie Neilson praised his Hearts players following what could have been his last game in charge

Welcome

Good morning and a warm welcome to our live text coverage of another busy day in Scottish football. 

We'll have the latest on Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson, reaction to last night's Premiership clash at Tynecastle and mark a number of media conferences ahead of a bumper weekend of action.