Scottish Gossip: Scotland, Lithuania, Darren Fletcher, Karamoko Dembele

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Kenny Dalglish, who won 102 caps for Scotland, thinks 31-year-old Celtic captain Scott Brown was too hasty in retiring from international football. (Various)

Dalglish thinks Gordon Strachan is the best person to lead the national team. "I think the wee man has done a fantastic job," says the country's joint all-time top scorer. (Daily Record)

Winger Ikechi Anya is winning his race to be fit for Scotland's game against Lithuania on Saturday, but Alan Hutton is out of the squad with a calf injury. (Daily Record)

Former Rangers forward Vladimir Weiss will not be facing Scotland on Tuesday - he has been dropped from the Slovakia squad after a run-in with the traffic police wanting to breathalyse him. (Various)

And Slovakia have defensive problems with skipper Martin Skrtel banned for their game against Slovenia and Peter Pekarik and Norbert Gyomber injured. (Daily Record)

Darren Fletcher scores the winner for Scotland against Lithuania in 2003
Darren Fletcher scores the winner for Scotland against Lithuania at Hampden in 2003

Far from Sam Allardyce's departure as England manager creating turmoil from which Scotland can benefit at Wembley in November, former Scotland midfielder Archie Gemmill believes the England players might try even harder to impress interim manager Gareth Southgate. (Daily Mail)

Former Scotland defender Stephen McManus, 34, recalls the last time the national team played in a World Cup finals. The Motherwell centre-half had his last exam at school the day Scotland played Brazil at France 1998. (Various)

Darren Fletcher credits his first goal for Scotland - a volley against Lithuania while winning his second cap - as providing Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson with proof that the 19-year-old midfielder could play at the highest level. (Sun)

Former Scotland captain Graeme Souness likens Scotland v England to an English Championship team taking on one from the Premier League. (Daily Record)

Souness thinks the pressure on Celtic and Rangers to succeed is stifling the development of players for the national team. (Herald)

Alex Iacovitti
Alex Iacovitti hopes to gain promotion to Gordon Strachan's senior squad

Hibs midfielder John McGinn says he is not surprised at how easily Scotland team-mate Oliver Burke seems to have taken to German football. McGinn says Burke is "very quiet, dedicated and focused" and will enjoy Leipzig because he can "keep himself to himself". (Sun)

Scotland Under-21s defender Alex Iacovitti, who came through the ranks with Burke at Nottingham Forest and who has roomed with him when with Scotland age-grade squads, says the Red Bull Leipzig winger is an inspiration to the younger players. (Various)

Currently in position as caretaker manager at Aston Villa, former West Brom boss Steve Clarke will be given the chance to secure the job on a more permanent basis. (Scotsman)

Ivorian Karamoko Dembele, whose family now live in the Govan area of Glasgow, made history by playing as a substitute for Celtic's Under-20s at Cappielow...at the tender age of 13. He is no relation to Celtic's star striker Moussa Dembele. (Various)

Staying with Dembele senior, he looks set to dedicate himself to playing for France, and not England for whom he could qualify to represent by dint of the five-year residency rules. He could make his debut for France Under-21s on Thursday. (Daily Record)

Dundee United defender Lewis Toshney has not, as first feared, broken his ankle but he could still be out for up to six weeks with ankle ligament damage. (Various)

Jackie McNamara says he is "humbled" by the loyalty shown to him by the York City chairman, who has resisted calls to sack the former Dundee United boss as the team have lost their last three games and sit just above the relegation zone of the Vanarama National League. (Daily Mail)

Alex Rae argues that he was sacked too soon as manager of St Mirren, claiming he had the best win rate of recent times. "Six games into a season is not a particularly long time. I think I was the first guy to be sacked in the whole of the UK," he said. (Various)

Ricky Burns performed a public workout at Glasgow's St Enoch Centre to promote his fight on Friday against Kyril Relikh
Ricky Burns performed a public workout at Glasgow's St Enoch Centre to promote his fight on Friday against Kyril Relikh

Former Celtic manager Kenny Dalglish believes his former club have the Premiership title won already, having beaten Rangers and Aberdeen. (Daily Record)

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers sings the praises of "aggressive" full-back Kieran Tierney, saying he loves the 19-year-old's ability to learn. Rodgers says every pass, header and tackle is "for Celtic" and that he "absolutely loves the club". (Sun)

Former First Minister of Scotland Henry McLeish says the Scottish Football Association's appointment of the new performance director is the "most important in the Scottish game since the war". (Scotsman)

OTHER GOSSIP

Ricky Burns says his "heart goes out" to Mike Towell's family following the boxer's death on Friday, but adds that "every boxer knows the risks when they climb through those ropes". (Various)

Scotland's record cap holder and wicket-taker Majid Haq says he has been "stabbed in the back" after being deposed by player-coach Con de Lange as captain of Clydesdale despite leading them to the Western Premier title and also their first Scottish Cup for almost 40 years. (Scotsman)

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