Kris Boyd: “One-hundred per cent Steve Gerrard will be looking for a reaction. The performance levels against Hamilton were disappointing having set the standard. Rangers are so far ahead but they can’t get complacent”
Kris Boyd has called for Rangers to provide a reaction when they host Kilmarnock this weekend after seeing their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table trimmed to 18 points.
The excited Ibrox faithful have been ticking off the results their team need to end a decade-long wait to be crowned champions once again.Sponsored link
But Rangers’ countdown clock remains stuck on six wins to glory after they put in a slack display at Hamilton.https://open.spotify.com/embed-podcast/episode/1PDkWwBcTwDAeAj3oHFa0q
Ross Callachan rescued a deserved point for Accies as he cancelled out Brian Easton’s own goal with the last kick of the game and Rangers will have to up their game if they want to get the title wrapped up before the split.
Speaking on the Scottish Football Podcast, former Rangers striker Kris Boyd believes the runaway leaders must make a statement this weekend at Ibrox when they take on Kilmarnock.Sponsored Links
“One-hundred per cent Steve Gerrard will be looking for a reaction,” he told Sky Sports.
“The performance levels against Hamilton last week were disappointing having set the standard. Yes, Rangers are so far ahead but they can’t get complacent. Allan McGregor’s interview this week summed the whole thing up – he’s a winner and that will be the message in the dressing room.
“It’s important they get back to winning ways. It won’t be easy, but I feel they can win 2-0.”
Walker: Celtic should accept £15m for Edouard
Meanwhile, Celtic would do well to sell Odsonne Edouard for £15m in the summer as part of a major squad overhaul, according to Scottish football expert Andy Walker.
The Scottish champions are 18 points behind leaders Rangers albeit with a game in hand, and many supporters are resigned to relinquishing their crown to their fierce rivals.
Neil Lennon has not yet abandoned hope of a 10th straight domestic title, but Walker believes the club should be already planning for next season, and a “new chapter” that may not see Edouard as part of the rebuilding job that is required at Celtic Park.
Walker told the Scottish Football Podcast: “Odsonne Edouard realises that he’s got ability and is worth a lot of money. How much? I’m not sure, as he’s not been firing on all cylinders.
“Let’s say they paid £9m for him but any player who switches off – I think that’s alarming for any potential suitor. I know that it’s your job as the manager and the coaching staff to keep players on board but Edouard, Ntcham and a few others didn’t get the moves that they were expecting last summer.
“Neil Lennon highlighted as much after the defeat to Ferencvaros. He wanted players to just leave, but that was just one of the problems that Celtic had at the start of the season. Edouard didn’t appear totally committed, and I think now he realises it’s not so long until the summer transfer window.
“He’ll get his move now, so how much money will Celtic get for him? It all depends on how much they’re willing to accept, but if they got anything around £15m now I think you’re absolutely doing business.”
‘There’s going to be a big sea change at Celtic’
Walker believes Albian Ajeti may have to seek pastures new while Leigh Griffiths could also be allowed to depart under a new set-up that should be in place by the time the Champions League qualifiers come around in the summer.
Switzerland international Ajeti struggled to have an impact since arriving for £4.5m from West Ham last summer, scoring just once in his last 18 appearances.
“It doesn’t seem to me as though it’s going to work out for him,” Walker said on Ajeti. “Griffiths is a player who has been so off the boil and Neil Lennon has said that he’s let him down, he’s let himself down and that he’s let his team-mates down. He doesn’t look like the sharp Leigh Griffiths that we’ve all known over the last number of seasons.
“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he too wasn’t part of the set-up next season. There’s going to be a big sea change at Celtic. We’re not just talking about half a dozen players here. We’re talking about at least 10 or 12 players in a turnover for whoever is coming in to organise that to get them in place for the start of next season.
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“Getting Champions League money totally changes the landscape of the club, so the most important games of next season are those qualifiers.”
Celtic made it four wins in their last five Scottish Premiership games with a 4-0 win at St Mirren, avenging the 2-1 home defeat to the Buddies at the end of last month with Lennon admitted was the lowest point of his two spells as boss.SAS GEO ERRORThis video is not authorized in your locationRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEOHighlights of the Scottish Premiership match between St Mirren and Celtic
Walker added: “Every Celtic fan I speak to just wants this season to end. They want a new chapter, they want a new beginning and they want to know what’s happening on and off the park.
“They want to see a squad with a different shape. Hatem Abd Elhamed has gone back to Israel, Jeremie Frimpong has gone away and clearly, they had to make a signing in that right-back area. They’ve got Jonjoe Kenny for the moment, Olivier Ntcham has gone away so you’re beginning to get players moving out of the club.SAS GEO ERRORThis video is not authorized in your locationRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEOFormer Celtic defender Gary Caldwell says the board’s support for Neil Lennon has given the players confidence, following a fourth win in five league games
“It’s just the start. I don’t know what’s going to happen off the park, but I’m assuming there’s going to be a structural change there as well. We’ll have to see what’s going to happen with the manager, while Dominic McKay is coming in as the new chief executive, but he doesn’t start until July 1.
“Every Celtic supporter is concerned about the biggest games of the season, which are the Champions League qualifiers, and they start not long after McKay comes into office so fans are a bit unsure as to who’s making decisions and on what basis at the moment.”
Duberry demands action over online abuse
Former St Johnstone, Chelsea and Leeds United defender Michael Duberry was a special guest on this week’s podcast and he spoke out about how social media companies must do more besides the removal of accounts to prevent abusive messages on its platform by developing new controls to help reduce the abuse people see.
English football bodies have come together to send an open letter to Facebook and Twitter demanding action amid increased levels of abuse aimed at footballers and officials on the platform.We’re All In To Kick It OutKick It Out and Sky have launched a partnership to end racism in sport
Duberry told the Scottish Football Podcast: “Let’s get it right: social media is a great platform as it brings fans and players closer together, but it’s just a misused platform where you can say what you want to say. But I just think that there needs to be a harsher punishment for racist abuse. There shouldn’t just be a ban where you can just set up another profile.
“Setting up a social media profile should have the same process that comes with setting up a bank account where you have an ID so you’re accountable and can be traced back. If you’re a minor, then your parents have to verify themselves. You’ve got to be able to trace who the person is, so they don’t just keep on setting up new accounts.
“Just like racist abuse should be punished on the street, the same should be applied on social media. That way, it would be a deterrent for anyone going on social media to say whatever they want.
“I only got the throwaway comments – ‘I hope you die’ – so I didn’t really get racially abused, thank God. I wouldn’t respond to the idiots. The abuse I got was more about me as a player, so I just tended to ignore them, but if it was anything harsher, you shouldn’t have to deal with it.
“They have all these systems to monitor if you’re playing music that’s not registered to you, then surely they have monitors that can red flag individuals who use racial language. They can have all their details, where they live, and they can be traced back.
“With referees, there’d be times when I felt they made the wrong decisions, bad decisions, but that doesn’t mean you can send a death threat. It’s human error, but now he has to live with fear for his family. That can’t be right. Accounts can’t just be shut down; it should be more than that, so it deters the next person.”