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Summary

  1. SFA appoints Malky Mackay as new performance director
  2. Mackay 'immensely proud and privileged' to take up new role
  3. SFA chief executive Stewart Regan describes Mackay as 'outstanding candidate'
  4. Sinclair poised for Celtic return
  5. Azeez and Walker cleared of diving
  6. Accies extend MacKinnon contract

Live Reporting

By Andy Campbell and Clive Lindsay

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's all from us today. Please join us again tomorrow for more live Scottish football news and tune in to Sportsound this evening from 18:30 GMT on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online.

  2. Rangers 'have two best full-backs in Scotland'

    Lee Hodson reckons he will have a fight on his hands to keep his Rangers starting place - because he is up against what he believes are the two best full-backs in Scotland. 

    The Northern Ireland defender has been forced to play understudy to Ibrox skipper Lee Wallace and James Tavernier for most of the season. 

    But he has helped Mark Warburton's men pick up their two best results of the campaign so far after forcing his way into the team for victories over Aberdeen and Hearts. 

    Tavernier was given a rare start in midfield for last weekend's win over the Edinburgh side, but the Englishman could dislodge Hodson again at right-back on Friday against Hamilton Accies. 

    "I knew it would be difficult coming here with two top-quality full-backs - the two best in the league - but that's what it is about coming to a new club," said Hodson.

    "But I have worked hard and know I need to fight to get my chance." 

    Lee Hodson celebrates with Rangers
  3. One stays, one to go at Accies

    Having secured midfielder Darian MacKinnon on an extended contract, Hamilton Academical player-manager Martin Canning is aiming to extend Lennard Sowah's deal beyond January.

    "Hopefully that will get sorted in the next day or two," Canning said of the 24-year-old defender, who has made six appearances after joining from Hamburg.

    But Richard Roy will be leaving the club when the Trinidad and Tobago striker's four-month contract ends this month.

    The 29-year-old, previously of Defence Force in his homeland, made the last of his two Accies appearances in August.

    Canning praised MacKinnon, who has made 20 appearances this season and has extended his contract until May 2019, having joined Hamilton from Clydebank in 2012.

    "In the last six weeks, he has probably been on the best run of form for the club," said the player-boss.

    "He is one of those players who doesn't really play poorly, but I think he has been excelling in the last few weeks and it is something that we have been looking to do - tie him down for a bit longer."

    Hamilton defender Lennard Sowah
    Image caption: Lennard Sowah joined Accies after leaving Hamburg
  4. McClaren surprised by Martin move

    Chris Martin has been on song - the Scotland striker, not the Coldplay front man, scoring six goals in his last 10 appearances for Fulham.

    And Derby County's Steve McClaren has been left wondering why the 28-year-old was allowed to join their English Championship rivals on a season-long loan under previous manager Nigel Pearson.

    However, McClaren won't have to worry about the striker when the two sides meet on Saturday as the terms of his loan mean Martin is not allowed to face his parent club.

    McClaren surprised by Martin loan move

    Chris Martin

    Derby County manager Steve McClaren is surprised that Chris Martin was allowed to join Fulham on a season-long loan.

    Read more
    next
  5. Richard Wilson

    BBC Scotland

    Malky Mackay

    Richard Wilson

    BBC Scotland

    Malky Mackay urges critics to "judge me by my actions" after being appointed as the Scottish FA's new performance director.

    Read more
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  6. Play the Predictor

    Get your predictions in for this weekend's Scottish Premiership matches.

    Hamilton host Rangers tomorrow evening and there are five more top-flight games on Saturday.

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    Hamilton v Rangers
  7. Sinclair in line for Celtic return

    Just when Dundee might have been feeling a sense of relief at the prospect of facing Celtic without captain Scott Brown and in-form wingers James Forrest and Scott Sinclair, the latter recovers from injury.

    The Premiership leaders' coach, John Kennedy, has revealed that the Englishman should be available on Saturday for the first time since the Champions League defeat by Barcelona on 23 November.

    "Scott trained most of the session today, so he is back in contention," said Kennedy. 

    "He has been out with a hamstring injury for a period, so we have to be cautious, but he has trained and could be available, which is great. 

    "He gives us another gear in terms of speed and incision he brings to the attack."

    However, midfielder Brown is suspended for Dundee's visit, while Forrest is still receiving treatment for his own hamstring injury.

    Scott Sinclair trains with Celtic on Thursday
    Image caption: Scott Sinclair was back training with Celtic on Thursday
  8. Give Mackay a chance, says Kennedy

    Celtic coach John Kennedy has called for Malky Mackay to be given time to implement his blueprint for the future of Scottish football. 

    The former Wigan Athletic, Cardiff City and Watford manager has become the Scottish Football Association's new performance director, succeeding Brian McClair, who quit in the summer after a little over a year in the post. 

    "It is important that everyone sticks with that plan and you don't get too disheartened after two years if something is not happening," said Kennedy.

    Scottish FA performance director Malky Mackay at Hampden Park
    Image caption: Malky Mackay has become the new SFA performance director

    "It takes longer than that. To really build something takes time. 

    "The most important part is that you give someone time to build something and everyone buys into it and then hopefully, over a period, if it is five to 10 years, whatever it might be, that you begin to see the fruits of that.

    "Obviously there are different opinions on it, but I think it is a good appointment.

    "He is Scottish, he has our game at heart and I think he will do what's best for our game." 

    Celtic coach John Kennedy
    Image caption: John Kennedy, like Malky Mackay, was a central defender with Celtic
  9. Swanson has to be 100% on song

    St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright says he will not gamble with midfielder Danny Swanson's fitness.

    The former Dundee United, Peterborough United and Hearts winger has been the Perth outfit's most impressive performer so far this season, with 12 goals from 19 starts. 

    But a hip injury kept him out of last weekend's goalless draw away to Aberdeen and Wright will only risk the 29-year-old against Motherwell on Saturday if he can be convinced that he is fully recovered. 

    "Danny felt a slight problem with his hip in training last Thursday," said the manager. "We're hopeful he will train today and tomorrow and then we'll assess him before making a decision tomorrow afternoon.

    "But, ultimately, with so many games in December, we won't take any risks with him. He has to be 100%."

    Danny Swanson celebrates scoring for St Johnstone
  10. Azeez and Walker cleared of diving

    Hearts winger Jamie Walker and Partick Thistle forward Ade Azeez have been cleared of diving after being booked last week.

    A Scottish FA disciplinary tribunal upheld their clubs' appeals against their yellow cards.

    Azeez had been cautioned by referee Craig Thomson after going down under a challenge by Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon during his side's 4-1 defeat in Friday's Glasgow derby.

    Walker was booked by John Beaton after a collision with Jason Holt as the Edinburgh side lost 2-0 to Rangers on Saturday.

    Both players have had their cautions rescinded.

    Partick Thistle's Ade Azeez is tackled by Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon
    Image caption: Partick Thistle's Ade Azeez was tackled by Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon
  11. Mackay 'has the skill-set' for SFA role

  12. No surprises so far for Cathro

    Head coach Ian Cathro takes charge of his second Hearts match on Saturday against Partick Thistle and said of his short time at Tynecastle so far: "Nothing has surprised me.

    "I don't pay much attention to anything that doesn't help the team improve and if I have a successful future that will be one of the main reasons.

    "How long will it take the players to respond to my method? I don't know."

    The 30-year-old took over from Robbie Neilson before last week's 2-0 defeat by Rangers.

    "It's not a situation where I've come in with some radical book, some mythical approach," Cathro explained.

    "No, I'm a football coach of a football team. There are good players here already. The team is in a good position."

    Ian Cathro