Scottish Gossip: Malky Mackay, SFA, Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen, League Cup final

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Rangers boss Mark Warburton has echoed the thoughts of Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers in backing Malky Mackay to take over as the Scottish FA's new performance director. (Sunday Times)

Warburton defended his Rangers team's top-flight challenge after another late show rescued points at Partick Thistle. "We're sitting second, aren't we?" Warburton said. (Mail on Sunday)

The Ibrox boss refuted chairman Dave King's AGM claim that Rangers weren't as competitive as he wanted. (Sunday Mail)

Adam Barton says Thistle blew a point against Rangers because they didn't push for all three. Joe Dodoo's 94th minute goal gave Rangers a 2-1 win. (Sunday Mail)

Brendan Rodgers has thrown his weight behind the concept of summer football, insisting that radical surgery to the Scottish calendar would raise standards and enhance clubs' prospects of European progression. (Mail on Sunday)

Rodgers believes a switch to summer football would not only enhance European qualifying prospects for Scottish clubs forced to embark on these games as campaign openers, he also believes coaching development at all levels would benefit markedly. (Scotland on Sunday)

Mark Warburton
Mark Warburton has defended Rangers' performances so far this season

The former Liverpool manager says: "A season that starts in November or February would actually work up here," and adds that there would be financial benefits for clubs. (Sunday Herald)

Kenny McLean is tired of hearing about Celtic's dominance this season and intends to give the unbeaten side a rude awakening in the League Cup final this afternoon. (Mail on Sunday)

Erik Sviatchenko has urged his Celtic team-mates to become history Bhoys by clinching the club's 100th major honour. (Sunday Express)

Jozo Simunovic has declared himself ready to start for Celtic at Hampden today after making his Champions League debut against Barcelona in midweek. (Sunday Herald)

Richie Foran watched his Inverness side rack up a third straight loss, then labelled the 2-1 defeat at Dundee their "best" display of the season. (Sunday Mail)

OTHER GOSSIP

Greig Laidlaw believes Scotland can approach the Six Nations with genuine belief after a 43-16 win over Georgia at Rugby Park allowed Vern Cotter's side to end the November series in clear credit. (Sunday Times)

After an encouraging November series, Ryan Wilson says Scotland "believe we can win every game" in the Six Nations. (Sunday Herald)

Judy Murray has called on tennis chiefs not to waste the 'golden opportunity' to build on the remarkable success of sons Andy and Jamie by boosting playing numbers across Britain using the groundbreaking scheme she runs in Scotland. (Mail on Sunday)

John Higgins admits he had a weighty problem to solve as he almost crashed out of the UK Snooker Championship. "I missed a pot because I'm too fat," Higgins said after his 6-4 second round win over Noppon Saengkham. "If I was a bit skinnier I would probably have potted it." (Sunday Mail)