Edinburgh City boss admits injury scare ahead of cup replay

John Menzies credit to Ross

James McDonaugh looks ahead to tonight’s cup replay. Photo by Ross Cowper-Fraser

Edinburgh City manager, James McDonaugh admitted that his side could do without tonight’s Scottish Cup replay as they fear potential injuries.

City travel to the Highlands to play Inverness Caledonian Thistle and while a cup run is of importance, their focus will also be on retaining their two point lead in League Two.

McDonaugh spoke ahead of tonight’s third round replay.

He said: “Because we are struggling with injuries, tonight’s match is one that we could do without. I guess so far it’s okay because we keep winning, but at some point we’re going to be really struggling if we get a couple more injuries or any suspensions.

“We haven’t been able to give any of our first team players a rest over the past six weeks, so we’ve had to stick with the same core of players for our last few games. Of course the team keep winning games but we could easily lose a player or two to suspension, and then we’d really be in trouble.”

City drew the first meeting 1-1 at Ainslie Park against John Robertson’s side and hope they can do it again as they travel to Tulloch Caledonian Stadium for the 19:45 kick off.

They’re coming off the back of Saturday’s 2-0 win against Queen’s Park. A performance that certainly pleased McDonaugh going into tonight’s game.

He added: “I thought we were very good in the first half, playing on the front foot and at a good tempo. We always looked like a threat going forward.

“In the second half, the game turned very scrappy and we didn’t play as well but to be fair, we were 2-0 up because of a lot of hard work in the first half.”

“Overall, the players deserve a lot of credit for securing another three points.”

Inverness CT come into tonight on the back of only their third defeat of the season, and their first in the league. They lost to 3-2 to McDonaugh’s former club, Falkirk over the weekend.

But despite that setback, the Highland side will be fancying their chances to progress at home to lower league opposition.

And McDonaugh expects it to be a very tough task against their Championship opponents.

“For us to have a chance against Inverness, every player for us must perform at their best, and we need them to have an off day, and a bit of luck as well. We would need all three to go our way. Of course we can win, but the chances of it happening are very minimal.”

Should Edinburgh City come through tonight’s match, they will be rewarded with a home tie against Lowland League side East Kilbride in the fourth round.

Girls With Goals

Women’s football has never been so popular.

Scottish Women's Football Team. Credits to Anders Henrikson

Scottish Women’s Football Team. Credits to Anders Henrikson

It may not be the official sport of our nation, but football’s following in Scotland is one of the most passionate around the globe. Sorry, golf fans. However, while off the field problems can blur the importance of what’s happening on the pitch, one section appears unfazed by these issues: the women’s game.

Support for women’s football is on the rise in Scotland with match attendance and viewing figures growing every season.

One of the leading teams in Scotland, Glasgow City, is on course for what could be their 12th consecutive league title, beating league rivals Hibernian in the closing stages of the league campaign.

You could argue that City’s dominance in the division doesn’t make for the most compelling league to watch, but their style of play is up there with the best. Hibernian can give Glasgow a run for their money at the best of times – with both sides having some success in the Women’s Champions League in recent years.

The success of teams domestically has somewhat transitioned to the national team as well. The Scotland women’s side qualified for their first ever World Cup earlier this year, having played in their first finals tournament in the European Championships in 2017.

It’s been more than 20 years since Scotland’s men’s team qualified for a major football tournament yet the women’s team have restored faith in Scottish football. When the team arrives in France for the World Cup, they may feel slightly out their depth.

There’s no beating around the bush, the funding for Scotland’s women’s team is far behind the wages of other national sides. But, leading into this tournament, out of the 23 players in the Scotland squad, 19 are professional.

The remaining four non-professionals may have to leave Scotland and head south of the border – where there are no amateur clubs in the top flight – to pursue their dream of becoming full-time players; something which their male counterparts probably would not have to do.

However, the success of the national team has struck a chord with young girls across Scotland. Participation in women’s football has risen from 6,500 to 12,000, bringing the goal of a professional women’s league in Scotland a lot closer.

It’s shocking to believe women’s football was once banned in Scotland. During World War One, the attendances for women’s football exceeded 50,000 but came to a halt when the men came home. One hundred years later, it’s women who are bringing football home.

The peak in interest has prompted UEFA to provide women’s football with 50% more funding from the year 2020. An additional £2.4 million will be given to women’s football projects per year, provided by profits from their male counterparts.

The rise in funding aims to take football right to the top as Europe’s biggest female sport but to get there they also need to fund coaching development. Something UEFA assured they would do, as they announced plans to increase the number of qualified female coaches.

Scotland has a national side playing in the World Cup next year, something we haven’t seen with the men’s side for over two decades. We should be excited about the future of women’s football – it’s certainly about to kick off.

McGlynn “very happy” to be back managing Raith Rovers

John Menzies - RRFC

Stark’s Park, where John McGlynn manages Raith Rovers (credit: Colin Pine)

John McGlynn is back in charge at Raith Rovers, six years after leaving the club, and is targeting promotion back into the second tier of Scottish football.

The 56-year-old returned to Stark’s Park four weeks ago, replacing Barry Smith, who resigned his post at the beginning of September. And McGlynn revealed that the chance to take the reigns again at the Fife side was too good to turn down.

“It was the lure of Raith Rovers that I left Celtic for. When the opportunity arose, I felt like I was the right man for the job. I had a successful spell here before and I hope to repeat that this time around.”

McGlynn was previously at Raith between 2006 and 2012, and guided the club to promotion from the Second Division in the 2008-09 season. Two years later, he led the club to second place in the First Division, narrowly missing out on promotion to the SPL to rivals Dunfermline. He left in 2012 to join Heart of Midlothian, where he had previously been First Team Coach.

McGlynn was most recently manager at Livingston, who he left by mutual consent in December 2014. But despite being out of the managerial game for almost four years, he feels like it’s taken no time to adjust back.

“No, not at all. There’s so much to do that you can’t really do anything other than think about what’s right in front of you.

“Taking training, preparing for matches and so on: there’s so much work to get done here, you’re thrown right back into the mix.

“You just have to roll up your sleeves and get on with it.”

Joining McGlynn back at Raith is assistant Paul Smith. Smith was McGlynn’s number 2 during his previous spell at the club, and he revealed that one of the main attractions of re-joining the Rovers was reuniting with Smith.

“To work with Paul again was a key factor for me. We’ve both had a successful time here together previously, we know each other well and we know how to get the best out of the players.

“The partnership we have has worked in the past, it’s working now and it will work well in the future.”

McGlynn’s second tenure has seen the club pick up seven points out of a possible nine, and they will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday, when they travel to Station Park to face Forfar Athletic.

Murrayfield set to host Betfred League Cup Clash – Football Podcast

Murrayfield is set to host Hearts and Celtic in the Scottish League Cup. Photo Credit to Vclaw via Wikipedia

After an initial controversial decision to host both Scottish League Cup semi-finals at Hampden on Sunday 28th October, the SPFL have decided to move the Hearts and Celtic fixture to Scotland’s home of rugby.

However, the decision hasn’t be taken lightly. David Ronney is joined by Paige Beresford, Lauren Archer and John Menzies on the football podcast.

This Week in Football

Cameron Storer is joined by Ryan Maher for football debate on This Week in Football.

With Mauricio Pellegrino sacked as Southampton manager following a poor run of form, is Mark Hughes the man to save the 19th placed Saints from the Premier League’s trapped door?

Manchester United’s embarrassing defeat to Seville last night ends their Champions League run but will Chelsea join United and Tottenham at home with an exit in Barcelona tonight?

A rare last 16 exit for Mourinho | Image : Metro

‘We’ll never die’ Manchester United remembers the Munich air disaster 60 years on

Manchester United marked the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster with a service at Old Trafford in which around 4,500 people attended.

The crash took place on February 6th 1958 when a plane carrying the Manchester United team and members of the media failed to take off from the icy Munich runway for a third time, colliding into a nearby farm house. Twenty-three people lost their lives, including eight players.

Amongst those at the memorial service was Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, former boss Sir Alex Ferguson and United captain Michael Carrick. Yet, most poignant was the attendance of Sir Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg, who were survivors of the crash.

Manchester United’s memorial service at Old Trafford. From Left to right: Captain Michael Carrick, Manager Jose Mourinho, Vice-chairman Ed Woodward, and former manager Sir Alex Ferguson | Photo Credit: Getty

It was a human tragedy over anything else with eight players local to the Manchester area losing their lives. The team known fondly as ‘The Busby Babes’ were flying back to England having won their European Cup quarter final against Red Star Belgrade. The team carried an average age of 22.

‘The Busby Babes’ line-up for what would be one of their last games together | Photo Credit: PA

The ceremony marks a week of events put on by the club to remember the disaster. With a minute’s silence at the weekend against Huddersfield, the United fans also unveiled a banner displaying ‘We’ll Never Die’.

Tributes have also been paid at the Partizan Stadium in Belgrade where the team played their final game before the tragedy as well as the crash site in Munich, where Bayern Munich Chief Executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was joined by a large contingent of travelling United supporters.

Clubs and footballers from across the world have shown their support on social media with messages of remembrance to those who lost their lives.

Football Chat @ 1.30pm

Your favourite football podcast is back.

Tottenham Hotspur host Arsenal this weekend for the latest instalment of the North London derby. The Gunners eased to a 2-0 win in their last encounter with Spurs at the Emirates, but what will happen in this weekends early kick-off?

What is going on at Chelsea Football Club? Their poor run of form has seen them lose by a three goal margin in back-to-back games for the first time in the Premier League since 1995.

Where should we draw the line with football chanting slander? Sectarianism has been condemn by Chelsea following reports of anti-semitic chanting during their loss to Watford at Vicarage Road on Monday night.

Our sports reporter Ewan Hawthorne is joined by Ryan Maher and our EN4 News Producer Cameron Storer to give their views and opinions.

Pressure and speculation surrounds the Chelsea Head Coach. Image : Sky Sports

 

Transfer Deadline Day: EN4 News live updates

The January transfer window closes across the UK at 11pm tonight. Keep up to date with all the Scottish transfer news, plus some updates from elsewhere, this afternoon at EN4 News.

Scottish transfer news to keep an eye on:

  • Alfredo Morelos could move away from Rangers today as Chinese clubs remain interested
  • Aberdeen and Celtic are expected to sign a goalkeeper by the end of the day
  • Hearts have an eye on two players as the deadline fast approaches
  • Scotland international Chris Martin is expected to move clubs this afternoon
  • Hibs might show an interest in a former midfielder

THAT’S IT FROM EN4 NEWS ON DEADLINE DAY! Thanks for keeping updated with us this afternoon.

4.51pm

Big news on that domino effect in England today.

Michy Batshuayi has joined Borussia Dortmund from Chelsea on loan.

Olivier Giroud has joined Chelsea from Arsenal.

4.49pm

Another one in at Ross County! The Staggies have signed Max Melbourne on loan from West Brom until May.

4.46pm

Rangers are reportedly looking at Swansea striker Oli McBurnie on loan. The young forward is a Rangers fan. Burnley are also interested.

4.43pm

St Johnstone have signed Manchester United midfielder Matty Willock on loan for the rest of the season.

4.36pm

Dundee have signed two players. Dan Jeffries and Cedwyn Scott have joined from Colchester United and Huddersfield respectively.

Meanwhile, Ross County are in talks to sign Matias Kait on loan from Fulham.

4.29pm

What’s happening with Alfredo Morelos?

Here’s the latest from Sky Sports.

4.27pm

East Fife have signed Livingston midfielder Matthew Knox until the end of the season on loan.

4.15pm

Kilmarnock have announced the signing of right back Aaron Simpson from Wolves until the end of the season.

4.13pm

Ross County have confirmed the signing of Liam Fontaine from Hibs on a free transfer.

Hibs have just tweeted about the recent departures today.

4.10pm

Hibs have confirmed that striker Anthony Stokes and defender Liam Fontaine have been released by mutual consent.

Fontaine has been linked with Ross County in the morning papers. Stokes had fallen out with manager Neil Lennon during a winter break training camp in Portugal.

3.58pm

Kilmarnock have released goalkeeper Cammy Bell by mutual consent.

3.25pm

Hamilton Accies have signed 20-year-old midfielder Charlie Scott from Manchester United on loan until the end of the season.

3.12pm

St Mirren have completed the signing of Falkirk’s Myles Hippolyte. The Buddies are top of the Championship table and are looking to add to their goals tally. The player joins on an 18-month contract.

3.09pm

Hibs have been linked with a couple of players today. Scott Allan, currently on loan at Dundee, might return to the club if a deal is agreed with Celtic. Also, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, the former Cardiff and Ipswich midfielder, has been speculated to join on loan.

The latter is unlikely to go through, however.

3.04pm

In England, Manchester City have made an increased offer to sign Leicester forward Riyad Mahrez.

2.55pm

It has all gone quiet in Scotland over the last hour!

Here’s some of the major English transfer stories since 2pm:

  • West Ham United have had a bid rejected for Anderlecht midfielder Leon Dendoncker
  • Leicester striker Islam Slimani has arrived in Newcastle ahead of a loan move
  • Crystal Palace have made a bid of £16m to Lille for their forward Ibrahim Amadou
  • Didier Ndong is due to finalise his loan move from Sunderland to Watford today following the completion of his medical
  • Sky Sports have reported that Andy King could leave Leicester to join Swansea City on loan
  • Riyad Mahrez forcing a move away from Leicester has led to his team mates becoming angered at the forward’s actions
  • Everton should complete the signing of Eliaquim Mangala from Everton by the end of the day

1.38pm

Dunfermline Athletic have signed Wolves’ Daniel Armstrong on loan until the end of the season.

1.30pm

English transfers update:

Riyad Mahrez is on the verge of a move from Leicester to Manchester City. Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi are involved in a transfer saga as Aubameyang’s switch to Arsenal means Batshuayi could replace him there and Giroud could replace Batshuayi at Chelsea. Stoke City, who are managed by ex-Scotland international Paul Lambert, are expected to sign Badou Ndiaye from Galatasaray for £15m as the midfielder passes a medical.

Former Hamilton defender Stephen Hendrie has signed for Lanarkshire rivals Motherwell
Credit: Sky Sports

1.06pm

St Johnstone have signed Fulham winger George Williams on loan until the end of the season. The Perth club are hoping to make another signing today.

1.04pm

Motherwell have completed the signing of ex-Hamilton left back Stephen Hendrie. The player signs on loan for the rest of the season from Southend United and could be included in their match with Hibernian this evening.

1.00pm

Rangers were heavily linked with West Brom youngster Tyler Roberts earlier this month but he has completed a move to Leeds United for an undisclosed fee.

12:56pm

In England, Tottenham Hotspur are minutes away from announcing Lucas Moura’s transfer from PSG.

12:45pm

Hearts might be interested in signing the Angolan midfielder Joaquim Adao from FC Sion on loan. The player is believed to be keen on a move to Scotland.

Meanwhile, there could be interest from Hearts in Dundee striker Marcus Haber should Kyle Lafferty leave the club before the deadline.

12:35pm

Scotland international Chris Martin is expected to sign for Reading  today. Derby County have agreed to let the ex-Fulham striker join the Royals on loan for the rest of the season.

Hearts are interested in Sion’s Joaquim Adao
Credit: Le Nouvelliste

SO FAR THIS MORNING: 

Rangers are reported to have rejected a £7.5m bid from Chinese club Beijing Renhe for Alfredo Morelos. However, the club have signed Norwich City under-23 midfielder Glenn Middleton for their development squad. The player is known to Rangers manager Graeme Murty who was formerly a coach at Norwich City’s academy.

Hibernian have completed the signing of 22-year-old striker Florian Kamberi from Grasshoppers Zurich on loan for the rest of the season.

Aberdeen have allowed young defender Sam Robertson to leave the club.

Kilmarnock’s Daniel Higgins has completed a loan move to Airdrieonians until the end of the season.

Celtic’s latest bid for Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson was rejected, with the fee believed to be around £375,000.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has completed his move to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund. The transfer is expected to start a domino effect as Michy Batshuayi is lined up to replace him in Germany, but only if Chelsea let him go. That will happen if they can sign Olivier Giroud from Arsenal – which is now possible following the Aubameyang deal. (Source: Sky Sports)

Football Chat @ 1pm

Cameron Storer is joined by our sports reporters Ewan Hawthorne and Ryan Maher to discuss all the latest going-ons in English football.

The latest match-up at Anfield could be the best game of the season so far, how far are Liverpool away from Manchester City? Paul Lambert has been appointed the new Stoke City boss and what is wrong with Arsenal?

Paul Lambert was Appointed as Stoke City manager on Sunday | Image NewsWireNGR

Can Scottish football compete with European elites?

It’s that time of the year again when football fans eagerly await news of the latest transfers their club is making in the transfer window. As clubs in Europe are making transactions of over £100 million per window these days, it’s normal practice to see those types of figures bandied about.

For the bigger clubs in Europe those signings are made to help them achieve success in European competitions like the Champions League or the Europa League.

This season, only Celtic made it through the qualifying rounds as the only Scottish team in European competition. Despite dropping out of the Champions League before Christmas, Brendan Rodgers’ side will take part in the Europa League next month – where they will face Russian outfit Zenit St. Petersburg.

In their Champions League group, Celtic faced two of the richest clubs worldwide: Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. They lost all matches against those sides. The total value of Celtic’s team was tiny compared to the German and French teams – a far cry from the days when Scottish clubs competed in high level matches with Europe’s best. In the current climate, that is not likely to happen again.

Olivier Ntcham was Celtic’s big money buy last summer. Credit: Getty Sport

Neil Patey, a football finance expert, believes that the millions of pounds in broadcast revenue sets the larger leagues apart from that of Scotland’s top flight. He said:

In reality, small leagues, Scotland and Celtic as an example, will never be competitive financially with a team in the upper echelons of the English, Spanish, German, Italian leagues. Aside wealthy owners, those leagues command more money from media rights.

You’re going to get somewhere between £140 million to £200 million every year through media rights. The winners of the Scottish Premiership get about £2.5 million so you are never going to be on an equal footing and there will always be that disparity between big and small leagues.

Celtic are still miles ahead of the rest of the country financially. They spent £4.5 million on midfielder Olivier Ntcham last summer and are likely to receive a multi-million pound offer for their striker Moussa Dembele this month. Edinburgh clubs Hibernian and Hearts struggle to reach seven figures to pay for any players.

Former SFA chief executive, Gordon Smith, thinks that Scotland’s finances will only get better if money is invested into the clubs differently. He said:

[Clubs] might have a buyer who can flaunt the rules a wee bit like some people do, basically coming in as a sponsor like you see in England with Etihad, for example. They can get around it because the owners get to put money in in different ways so that’s the only way Scottish teams can compete.

Gordon Smith (left) believes the Scottish clubs need wealthy owners to compete. Credit: Getty Images

UEFA’s financial fair play rule also keeps tabs on how clubs operate financially. The rule requires teams to financially breakeven with their revenue and expenditure. For the leagues and clubs who benefit from hefty television income that means more money is able to be spent within the rules.

Financial fair play expert, Ed Thompson, says that it is those rules which make it hard for smaller leagues to compete now. He stated:

In Scotland, and smaller countries, the amount of money that TV companies can afford to pay is less. If you look at big clubs in small countries, they have absolutely fallen off a cliff as far as UEFA competition is concerned.

Historically, top clubs in Holland, Belgium, Romania and Scotland – like Ajax, Steaua Bucharest, Anderlecht, Celtic and Rangers – who would have done well in Europe and won competitions, because they are in small countries where TV revenues are lower, financial fair play rules mean they are unable to compete.

Scottish clubs can keep trying. However, football and money are a married couple in the modern day and until Scottish football is rolling in it, pushing custard up a hill with a fork looks much easier.

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