Wednesday 22 November 2017

Lennon ready for Hibs test

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes his players will face a Hibernian side "fighting for their lives" at Easter Road today.

The Hoops are top of the SPL following 14 straight league victories and heading for a likely title win for the first time in four seasons.

By stark contrast, the team managed by former Bohs boss Pat Fenlon are battling at the other end of the SPL with Dunfermline to retain their top-flight status.

The Leith side, however, have secured consecutive clean sheets at home in their two most recent games -- a William Hill Scottish Cup win over Kilmarnock and a draw against Aberdeen in the league, which makes Lennon wary.

"Pat Fenlon has rejigged it a bit," said Lennon. "He has brought players in and they've had a couple of decent results. They beat Kilmarnock then got a point against Aberdeen and they are fighting for their lives.

Hibernian v Celtic,

Sky Sports 1, 3.0

McCoist rues Gers defeat

A turbulent week for Rangers ended in further disappointment as they crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock in the SPL in their first match since being forced into administration.

Dean Shiels grabbed the only goal of the game after slotting home a low shot past Allan McGregor after 12 minutes to inflict Rangers' first home defeat of the season in the league, with a red card for Sasa Papac adding to the misery.

"It hurts an awful lot because we all really, really wanted to get three points for the supporters," said Rangers manager Ally McCoist afterwards.

"It goes without saying that we try to do our best and try to win games at the best of times, but today it's really painful that we didn't manage to do it for the fans."

Saints go top in Derby rout

Southampton went two points clear at the top of the Championship after a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Derby.

Jos Hooiveld gave the hosts a 15th-minute lead as Daniel Fox's corner from the left was bundled in.

Aaron Martin finished well after another corner to make it 2-0, while Fox completed his hat-trick of assists by teeing up Adam Lallana.

Tadanari Lee then scored to put the seal on the win.

Meanwhile, Cardiff suffered a deflating 3-0 defeat ahead of next weekend's Carling Cup final against Liverpool as their promotion charge received a setback at Ipswich after a Lee Martin double and a well-taken Michael Chopra goal proved the difference.

Jose asks fans to stay loyal

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho advised disgruntled fans of former clubs Chelsea and Inter Milan to get behind their own coaches after his side beat 10-man Racing Santander 4-0 in La Liga last night.

"My message to the fans is I love Chelsea and Inter a great deal but I would prefer them to support their own teams and coaches," he said.

"I am the past, a very good past, but I am not there anymore and they should all be fighting together."

A Cristiano Ronaldo header got Real Madrid on their way as they stretched their lead over Barcelona to 13 points at the top of La Liga.

Santander were reduced to 10 men six minutes before the break when Domingo Cisma got a second yellow.

Real doubled their lead when a dinked Karim Benzema effort was deflected over the line by Santander's Bernardo and Angel Di Maria and Benzema scored late on to complete the rout.

Delap wary of Stoke slacking

Stoke midfielder Rory Delap knows his team cannot afford to drop their performance level against Crawley if they are to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

The Potters were beaten in last year's FA Cup final where they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Manchester City that earned Stoke their precious Europa League place, and the chance of a repeat of that achievement is a major incentive for Delap and his team-mates.

"We're going there and everyone will be expecting us to win, but Crawley will have a lot to say about that, it's going to be a tough game," he said. "They're towards the top of their league and full of confidence."

Crawley v Stoke,

ESPN, 12.0

Warnock gets nod for Leeds

Leeds UNITED confirmed the appointment of Neil Warnock as their new manager yesterday.

The widely-travelled 63-year-old has agreed a contract which commits him to the Elland Road club until the end of next season.

"We believe the appointment is arguably the most important we have made," said Leeds chairman Ken Bates.

"The objective was to appoint a manager who had a proven track record of getting teams promoted, and in Neil we have a man whose record is second to none."

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