Scottish football news: Celtic, Morton, Motherwell, Aberdeen

Graphic for Scottish football news

Friday's headlines

  • Aberdeen remain upbeat
  • McFadden 'perfect link' for Motherwell players
  • Kurakins to the rescue
  • Azeez does it
  • Celtic midfielder joins Morton

Dons' Hayes remains upbeat

Jonny Hayes admits Maribor are now favourites to progress in the Europa League qualifier but says Aberdeen retain their belief that they can emerge victors over two legs.

The Dons dominated the first leg at Pittodrie only to be held to a 1-1 draw by the Slovenians.

"We're a little bit disappointed," said winger Hayes. "It's going to be tougher over there, in front of a big crowd and the pitch isn't great.

"It's all in their favour, but it's only half-time.

"We were confident going into it and you saw that straight from the off. We went and attacked, we went with two strikers and an attacking line-up. It almost paid off.

"Conceding the away goal will give them a boost, but we can take confidence from that performance. When we play at a high tempo, we are a match for anybody."

McFadden 'perfect link between boss and players'

Motherwell's new assistant boss James McFadden
McFadden, who is his third spell at Fir Park, will still be be registered as a player

Motherwell skipper Keith Lasley expects to end up on the wrong side of James McFadden's temper but believes he is the perfect candidate to be Mark McGhee's new assistant.

The former Scotland forward was McGhee's surprise choice to replace Stephen Robinson, who has taken over at Oldham.

Veteran midfielder Lasley said: "He's not shouted at me yet and he hasn't given me the hair-dryer treatment yet - I'm sure I'll get that at some point.

"But it's fantastic and I'm pleased for James. This gives him a great opportunity to have an influence at the club.

"You're looking for a link between the manager and the dressing room and I think James will be perfect for that."

Kurakins happy to come to rescue

Latvia left-back Antons Kurakins will be happy to stand in again at centre-half as Hamilton Academical attempt to secure progress in the Scottish League Cup at home against Livingston.

Martin Canning, Jesus Garcia Tena, Craig Watson and Scott McMann have all been missing through injury, while Michael Devlin was suspended for Wednesday's trip to Edinburgh City.

Kurakins played alongside 19-year-old summer signing Jordan McGregor as Accies recovered from losing two early goals to win 4-2 and move three points behind group leaders Ayr United, who have played their four group games.

Indeed, Devlin is available again for Saturday's game along with Greek centre-back Georgios Sarris, who signed a two-year contract on Friday.

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Azeez does it

Partick Thistle's Ade Azeez aims to go on a goalscoring run now that he has got off the mark.

The former Wimbledon striker netted his first goal since his summer move during Thistle's 4-1 League Cup win away to Stenhousemuir in midweek.

Ahead of Saturday's Glasgow derby against Queen's Park at Firhill, he said: "I'm absolutely buzzing.

"It's always a big deal to get off the mark for a new club and you don't want it dragging on.

"Hopefully it's the first of many the Thistle fans get to see me score."

Thistle have won all three games so far and at least a draw will secure qualification as Group E winners, while the Spiders need a win to stand a chance of finishing runners-up ahead of Queen of the South.

Celtic midfielder Lindsay joins Morton on loan

Jamie Lindsay in action for Celtic in their pre-season friendly against Sturm Graz
Lindsay played in Celtic's pre-season friendlies against NK Celje and Sturm Graz

Celtic midfielder Jamie Lindsay has joined Championship side Greenock Morton on a season-long loan until June 2017.

The 20-year-old spent last season on loan at Dumbarton, winning the club's Young Player of the Year Award, and returned to Celtic Park in the summer.

He was part of Celtic's first-team squad for their pre-season tour, playing in friendlies against NK Celje and Sturm Graz.

Other signings

Raith Rovers have received international clearance for former Hearts midfielder Rudi Skacel to make his debut in Saturday's Scottish League Cup tie against Alloa Athletic.

Dunfermline Athletic have signed Scott Lochhead, a 19-year-old midfielder released by Dundee United in January, on a six-month contract after a successful trial.

Airdrieonans have signed 17-year-old midfielder Conor Scullion on loan from Hamilton Accies until January.

Peterhead have sent striker Andy Rodgers on loan to Lowland League outfit East Stirlingshire, while midfielder Marc Lawrence has been farmed out to Fraserburgh in the Highland League, both for a month.

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