Scottish Gossip: Strachan helps U21s, McDowall may join St Mirren

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Scotland coach Gordon Strachan has agreed to help the nation's Under-21 squad in their preparations for the European Championship qualifier against Ukraine next Friday.(Daily Express)external-link

Ricky Sbragia, the Under-21 side's regular coach, says Hibernian's Jason Cummings, 20, is in the same bracket as Italy forward Giuseppe Rossi, whom Sbragia worked with as reserve team coach at Manchester United. (Herald)external-link

Nir Bitton "had no questions about signing" after being offered a new contact at Celtic, with the 24-year-old midfielder committing himself to Ronny Deila's side until 2020.(The National)external-link

Celtic players Nir Bitton, Dedryck Boyata and Kieran Tierney
Bitton (far left) has signed a new deal while Celtic team-mate Kieran Tierney (far right) is making his mark in the first team

Three years ago Kieran Tierney was a ball boy behind the goal where Victor Wanyama headed Celtic in front in their 2-1 win against Barcelona and now the teenage left-back admits he has to pinch himself that he is playing European football for the Glasgow side. (Daily Express)external-link

Molde captain Daniel Berg Hestad insists playing in a hostile atmosphere in Glasgow will motivate him against Celtic on Thursday evening.(Scotsman)external-link

Former Rangers goalkeeper Peter McCloy was relieved to hear the current side were angry after losing for the first time in the Scottish Championship this season at Hibernian on Sunday but believes it was unrealistic to expect them to have an unbeaten league campaign. (Daily Record)external-link

Assistant manager Mark Spalding has parted company with Scottish Championship strugglers St Mirren.(Scotsman)external-link

Former Rangers assistant manager Kenny McDowall, who was also briefly caretaker boss at Ibrox, could make a return to football as Ian Murray's assistant at St Mirren, a club McDowall served as a player. (Sun - subscription required)external-link

Kenny McDowall
McDowall left Rangers in March after over eight years at Ibrox

Falkirk manager Peter Houston believes Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson, who has led the Tynecastle side from the Scottish Championship to second place in the Premiership, will not rush his exit from the Edinburgh club but believes the 35-year-old is destined for big things.(Daily Record)external-link

Queen of the South boss James Fowler, who worked with Mixu Paatelainen when the pair were at Kilmarnock, says that while Finn "had the potential to go nuts", it was the manager's work on the training pitch that had the biggest effect. Paatelainen has taken over at Dundee United and was recently highly critical of his new squad following a heavy defeat at Celtic. (Herald)external-link


Glasgow Warriors centre Peter Horne hopes to fulfil an ambition by testing himself against Dan Carter in this month's European Rugby Champions Cup meeting with Racing 92.(Herald)external-link