Scottish football preview as it happened

Friday's Scottish football talking points and a look ahead to the weekend's big matches

15 February 2013 Last updated at 14:05

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As it happened

  1. 1201: 
    KICK-OFF

    Good afternoon and welcome to this week's Scottish football preview. On the menu this lunchtime: Tonight's feast of Friday football as Aberdeen play Dundee, Inverness manager Terry Butcher's blast at stay-at-home fans, are Scottish pitches up to scratch and Killie boss Kenny Shiels has answered your questions in our Q&A feature.

  2. 1204: 

    Please feel free to get in touch and let me know your thoughts on today's talking points - or anything else that's keeping you awake at night. Text 80295, or tweet #bbcsportscot or @StevieMillerBBC

  3. 1206: 

    First course takes us to the Highlands, where Inverness manager Terry Butcher has slammed the low attendance at Wednesday's match with Kilmarnock, and questioned whether the city of Inverness deserves such a high-flying team: "I honestly don't know how much more we can do. We played some of the best football of the season. Does this city deserve a football team like we've got? I don't know."

  4. 1208: 

    What do you think? Does Butcher have a point, or are Inverness's crowds (averaging about a tenth of the population of the city) perfectly reasonable?

  5. 1210: 

    News from Tayside, where Dundee correspondent supreme, Jim Spence, tells us that a director has left the Dundee Utd board: "John Bennett has resigned from the Dundee Utd board after 11 years as a Tannadice director. He says: 'it's time to freshen up the board'."

  6. 1215: 

    And, if you're having a post-Valentine's Day slump, then tune in to Sportsound tonight on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW or online as Aberdeen take on Dundee. What could ossibly be more romantic than that?

  7. 1216: 

    Tomorrow, we have the rarity of five SPL matches all kicking off at three o'clock. Jackie McNamara returns to former club Celtic with his Dundee Utd team, it's a Jim Jefferies derby as Hearts host Kilmarnock, Inverness travel to Lanarkshire to face Motherwell, St Johnstone travel in the other direction as they visit Ross County and St Mirren and Hibs do battle in Paisley.

  8. 1222: 

    In the First Division, there's a tussle at the top as Morton meet Partick and there's a Kincardine Bridge derby as Falkirk host Dunfermline.

  9. 1223: 

    Second Divsion leaders Queen of the South travel to Stranraer for a south-west derby and third meets fourth as Arbroath host Brechin in an all-Angus affair.

  10. 1225: 

    Runaway Third Division leaders Rangers travel to Clyde, while fifth-placed Montrose could leapfrog Elgin into a play-off place, if they can win their clash at Links Park.

  11. 1228: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

    BBC reporter Kenny Crawford has written a great feature on Ian Murray's progress as Dumbarton manager, which is well worth a read - particularly if you like elephants.

  12. 1230: 

    Hibernian face a trip to St Mirren on Saturday, looking to arrest their recent poor form. In fifth spot, Pat Fenlon's side have failed to win any of their last five league games.

    Their last league win was at home to Celtic on 29 December.

    "We're on a little bit of a bad spell at the moment," said manager Pat Fenlon.

    "Every team's been there and ours is at the moment. What defines you as a team is how you deal with playing well and then, when the time comes for you to have a blip, is really how you deal with that that really defines you as a team.

    "you've got to earn the right to be here: whether you're a manager, a player or anyone else," added Fenlon.

  13. 1231: 

    Craig MacMillan has tweeted his pick of the weekend's clashes: "That Morton v Partick game's easily the game of the day, absolutely huge game in the only title race left in Scotland. COYT."

    It's hard to top the First Division for excitement, that's for sure.

  14. 1235: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

    Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels, a colourful character who has lit up the SPL since arriving at Rugby Park in June 2011, has been answering your questions in BBC Scotland's latest Q&A.

    The 56-year-old says he wouldn't consider the Northern Ireland job until he's in his Sixties.

    Asked what the proudest moment of his managerial career has been, he said: "Watching the smiles and tears of joy on the faces of the Kilmarnock fans when we won the league cup."

    Oh, and he says he's too busy to set up a Twitter account....

  15. 1236: 

    Media conferences are going on around the country, and we'll bring you news from them as soon as we can. Rangers are speaking at the moment and defender Chris Hegarty has been speaking about signing a new contract with the club: "The experience I'm getting playing is great. A lot of players at my age come down the leagues for experience, I'm getting it at Rangers," he said.

  16. 1241: 

    A tweet from Paul Clarkson on the pitches issue: "The pitches in the SPL are a disgrace. Surfaces should be 10x better in my opinion. Same culprits every season also!!! #bbcsportscot"

  17. 1241: 

    Some more from Rangers defender Chris Hegarty a year on from the club entering administration - and praise for manager Ally McCoist's support for the players: "Administration doesn't feel like a year ago. We've came so far now and things are looking really good for the club.

    "I can't speak highly enough of the manager and he's been there for all of the players no matter how they have been feeling."

  18. 1244: 

    Ali Lawson on Twitter is also exercised by pitch problems: "I think it's time to seriously consider summer football. Play on pitches when the grass grows and when it's a bit warmer. #bbcsportscot"

    It all seems so logical when you put it like that, Ali.

  19. 1246: 

    Rangers manager Ally McCoist has now begun his media conference: "The most important thing is that we get out of the league we are in & we're on track for that. We've a long way to go on our journey," he says.

  20. 1248: 

    bringthemonjpn has the perfect cure for the lovesick: "Forget the Valentine's day cards, big match card on to cheer us all up. Aberdeen "could" finish in second spot. Exciting stuff."

    Some of us didn't get any cards to forget!

  21. 1250: 

    More from the Rangers media conference as Ally McCoist talks about former owner Craig Whyte's TV appearance yesterday: " I didn't see it. I had far more important work to be doing."

    Sounds like that work wasn't buying Craig Whyte a Valentine's card.

  22. 1252: 

    Rangers manager Ally McCoist also talksed about being linked with a move for Killie goalkeeper Cammy Bell: "Players like Cammy who are out of contract are exactly the kind of player we're looking at. We do want freshness in the squad."

    "I haven't spoken to Cammy myself, but I believe that there might have been discussions with his agent. I don't know much more."

  23. 1253: 

    Ally McCoist also talks about the emotional rollercoaster that has been the last year at Ibrox: "I never came close to leaving. There's been times when I've been down, but there's always something that picks you back up."

  24. 1255: 

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon's media conference is due to start shortly, what do Celtic fans think after the Champions League defeat at the hands of Juventus? Are the European dreams over?

  25. 1257: 

    Rangers boss Ally McCoist is also emotionally relocating Saturday's opponents, Clyde, from Cumbernauld: "One of my first games for Rangers was against Clyde at Shawfield in the Glasgow Cup. It'll always be a Glasgow derby to me."

    Shawfield - Glasgow or Rutherglen? I'll duck for cover as the arguments commence.

  26. 1300: 

    Some team news in from Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "Lustig, Brown and Wanyama are doubts for tomorrow (against Dundee United). Gershon is out, Samaras will train next week..."

  27. 1303: 

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon is unhappy at some decisions in the Juventus game: "We want clarification. We will compile a DVD, send it to Uefa and see what kind of answers we get."

  28. 1303: 

    Lennon is happy at the mood of his players after the midweek defeat by the Italians, however: "The players were buoyant in training today and have picked themselves up."

  29. 1306: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

    Before you have a read of Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels' Q&A with your questions, have a wee look at his ingenious attempt to get round being sent to the stands in Wednesday's match with Inverness.

  30. 1310: 

    In case you're wondering, Celtic manager Neil Lennon is unhappy at the close attantion his players were receiving in the Juventus box: "They were wrapping their arms around our players stopping their momentum and it was still happening when ball was in play. You don't see our players doing that. There were pictures of the shirt coming off Gary Hooper's back, credit to him for keeping his cool."

  31. 1312: 
    Ouch!

    One anonymous texter has little sympathy with the Celtic manager's plan of sending a DVD highlighting the issue to Uefa: "Pretty sure it'll show the ball crossing the line 3 times. Well 4 if you include the first goal!"

  32. 1315: 

    Dundee Utd will be without the injured Gavin Gunning for the trip to Celtic Park. Willo Flood is a doubt, but Jon Daly should return.

  33. 1317: 

    St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas is not looking beyond a top-six finish - despite finding themselves in contention to finish second: "We would like to get top six again. We had a taste of it last year so we would like to get there again," he said.

    "It's very tight and we`ve got a very big week Ross County away, Celtic at home and St Mirren at home.

    "We are under no illusions that we are probably going to have to win at least another three or four games to get into that top six.

    "We've got three games in seven days, which will stretch us and everybody in the squad will have to play a part.

  34. 1319: 

    The Saints travel to face Ross County, who will be missing the suspended Iain Vigurs. Ivan Sproule is also doubtful for the Highlanders, but captain Richard Brittain will feature, despite signing a pre-contract agreement with the opposition.

  35. 1324: 
    BREAKING NEWS

    BBC Scotland's Chris McLaughlin ‏reports from the Celtic media conference: "Neil Lennon says Kris Commons overstepped the mark with comments about Efe Ambrose performance in Juve game. Says been dealt with internally."

  36. 1328: 

    Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic is now up at the Celtic media conference talking about his excitement at being part of the Champions League experience: "I was happy to be there on Tuesday, I've never experienced being a part of a sporting event like that with the fans.

    "The atmosphere was something special. When I walked out to my seat the crowd had just started singing with the scarves everywhere."

  37. 1329: 
    Ouch!

    Raith Rovers are facing a £20,000 bill for pitch repairs, due to a drainage problem called 'Black Layer', which, I have to say, sounds like the dodgiest metal band in the world.

  38. 1333: 

    Inverness will still be without captain Richie Foran for their trip to Motherwell - long-term injury victims Simon King and Chris Hogg remain out.

  39. 1339: 

    Aberdeen manager Craig Brown still thinks his side can finish in second place - despite still looking for their first win of 2013: "We want success and to finish as high in the SPL as possible. Second place is a target. I am optimistic, always.

    "Second place is five points ahead of us so we need a couple of wins to get in touch and I think we've got the capability within the squad to get the wins."

  40. 1343: 

    Anton has commented on our story about Celtic manager Neil Lennon querying the Juventus defence: "I actually think Celtic are quite right to do this. Italian man-handling has been an unfortunate facet of their defensive game for too long. A degree of physicality must be allowed for in the box but the Italians persistently take this too far. Referees should be encouraged to act."

  41. 1345: 

    News coming in from Motherwell's media conference, where coach Kenny Black faced the media...

  42. 1347: 
    BREAKING NEWS

    Motherwell assistant Kenny Black says he's unsure if the club are in a position to offer James McFadden a contract. McFadden has been training with the Steelmen for the past few weeks and Black says the club were delighted to offer him the opportunity to train with the club again.

  43. 1349: 

    Not everyone agreeing with Inverness manager Terry Butcher's assertion that his side are under-attended, Umnarab has commented: "Their ticket prices are among the highest in the league, letting kids in on the cheap would boost numbers, maybe. But realistically an average of 4017 is the best a club like ICT can hope for. Outwith the 4 main cities no clubs average more than 5000."

  44. 1350: 

    Comment from departing Dundee United director John Bennett, who announced he was leaving the club today: "There is a new and exciting management team in charge now at the club and it is also time for the board to be freshened up as well.

    "That is the reason I am going.

    "I have had an enjoyable time on the board but it is the start of a new era. I have my season ticket and I'll still be attending matches."

  45. 1353: 

    Not a lot of support for Neil Lennon's plan to send a DVD of Juventus' defending to Uefa judging by the comments on our story:

    John Lyons thinks: "It's hard to see what, if anything, this will achieve...I very much doubt Uefa will do a Sion and give us a 3-0 victory for the game..."

    talkinboutarevolution says: "I assume Lennon will also include the clips of Kris Commons going down like he'd been shot whenever a defender came within a square mile of him?"

    And Your Call Is Important To Us asks: "Will Lennon be seeking clarification from his defenders as to why they gifted Juve 2 of their 3 goals?"

  46. 1400: 

    Last word goes to Sean Hepburn who seems somewhat unsurprised at Juventus employing the 'dark arts' in the penalty box: "Really. They're Italian, it's what they do."

  47. 1402: 

    Thanks ever so much for your company this lunchtime. It's kept me away form the pies at any rate. Hope you enjoy whatever match is taking your fancy over the weekend and look forward to your company again soon.

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