Scottish Gossip: Alex McLeish, Scotland, Costa Rica, Rangers, Celtic, Sinclair

Football gossip

FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Alex McLeish says his Scotland players suffered from stage fright in the defeat by Costa Rica - in the first game of his second stint in charge of the national side. "It was a mixed bag [against Costa Rica]. We started too slowly when we left the dressing room, despite the war cry of high tempo and pressing. They got a bit of stage fright." (Sunday Mail)

Beating Celtic in next month's Scottish Cup semi-final would represent "tangible progress" for Rangers, according to former Ibrox boss Walter Smith. "Rangers have to catch Celtic and the hardest task they have is making up that ground," says Smith. "Rangers have to find a way to win and they then have to keep on winning these games." (Sunday Mail)

Oli McBurnie hopes he made his family proud after making his Scotland debut in front of his biggest fan: his Dad, Neil. "Whether it's been U19s or the U21s, he [Dad] has come to every game, whether it's been Austria or Iceland. He's been everywhere." (Sunday Express, print edition)

Celtic winger Scott Sinclair
Could Scott Sinclair be on the move in the summer?

The USA should consider former Scotland boss Gordon Strachan for their managerial vacancy, according to Strachan's former assistant Mark McGhee. The USA failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and have parted company with previous manager Bruce Arena. "It's not impossible that another international job might interest [Strachan]," says McGhee. "That would fit him. I keep looking at the USA job and thinking he's perfect for it." (Sunday Mail)

Celtic winger Scott Sinclair is being linked with a summer return to England. The 29-year-old, who has struggled to replicate his impressive form from last season, has been linked with Bournemouth and Brighton. (Scottish Sun)

Andy Robertson has questioned the merits of Scotland's end-of-season trip to face Peru and Mexico. "I don't think anyone finds it ideal," says the Liverpool defender. "Obviously it is a long way to travel for two games but at the end of the day it's a chance to get another two caps and that's what the boys have got to look at. Whether we are happy with it or not, it doesn't really make a difference." (Sunday Mail)

Former Scotland manager Gordon Strachan
Gordon Strachan has been tipped as "perfect" for the USA vacancy

Josh Windass believes Rangers can narrow the gap on rivals Celtic but admits their Old Firm rivals' spending power makes the task more difficult. (Sunday Mail)

Many of Scotland's top referees are unhappy with the manner in which appointments are made and how officials are graded, according to a survey. (Sunday Herald)

Scotland manager Alex McLeish has criticised the English Football League for scheduling matches on Thursday - less than 48 hours after his side play Hungary. Charlie Mulgrew's Blackburn Rovers will face Bradford City and McLeish admits the timing of the game may affect his line-up for Tuesday' friendly in Hungary. "We're very aware he [Mulgrew] has got a game on Thursday, we don't want to fall out with clubs, but Scotland has got to come first, even in this situation." (Sunday Herald)

Hibernian and Scotland midfielder John McGinn hopes to be given the chance to shine for the national side under new manager Alex McLeish. McGinn came on as a substitute in the friendly defeat by Costa Rica, and aims to feature against Hungary next week. "I was frustrated - you always want to play - and in that 10 minutes I just wanted to make an impression," McGinn said. (Sunday Mail)

OTHER GOSSIP

Edinburgh "are playing much better rugby this year and winning," says full-back Blair Kinghorn. "This year, the team are performing really well, we are backing up week to week and training well and we are getting the results come game time." (Scotland On Sunday, print edition)

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