Football: Injury rules Gallacher out of Scotland squad for warm- up

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KEVIN GALLACHER will miss Scotland's World Cup warm-up match with Denmark because of a nagging stomach strain. The Blackburn Rovers striker failed a fitness test yesterday and his club manager, Roy Hodgson, withdrew the Scot from the party to face the Danes on Wednesday.

Instead, Gallacher will be working on his fitness at the end of a frustrating month in which he has also been suspended for three games. "I would not do myself any justice for Scotland. I would rather stay here and get myself fit and be back for the next league match," Gallacher said. "My stomach is just not right. I've done a lot of work in training this week, maybe too much. I've had a test but it's not right yet. I will just have to keep working on my recovery programme."

Falkirk travel to Love Street for a First Division match against St Mirren today believing they can still fulfil their fixtures. It is understood they are pounds 1.5m in debt, with the Inland Revenue owed pounds 400,000 of that sum and it is estimated these debts could be rising by around pounds 30,000 a month. Although the club can expect a financial boost from their Scottish Cup semi-final appearance against Hearts, a liquidator has been appointed.

The players have agreed to take a 50 per cent cut in pay to help ease their financial problems. However, to secure their long-term safety a new owner is now viewed as essential because of the club's rising debts.

Wim Jansen, the Celtic head coach, is anxious for normal service to be resumed at Aberdeen after lecturing his players on the lessons they must absorb if they want to lift the title. Jansen took his team aside this week to talk through what went wrong last Sunday at home to Dundee United, when Celtic let a one-goal lead slip in reckless pursuit of a decisive second strike.

That meant a chance to move seven points clear at the top of the Premier Division was spurned. Jansen said: "Against Dundee United we played very well in the first half, but lost our shape at times in the second to draw 1-1, and we have spoken about this problem because it is very important for the way we want to play."

With Eoin Jess back in form and the Scotland squad, Celtic will miss the influence of Alan Stubbs (groin) at the back on a day when defeat, if Rangers were to win at home, would transform the championship picture.

Rangers recall their 31-year-old midfielder Ian Durrant to the squad that faces St Johnstone at Ibrox. Walter Smith's side lie five points adrift of Celtic and three behind second-placed Hearts. He will be able to call on the midfielder Jonas Thern, who returns from suspension, but both Paul Gascoigne (ankle and stomach injuries) and Brian Laudrup (back) will miss the game.

St Johnstone are chasing their first double over Rangers in 27 years after winning at McDiarmid Park earlier in the season. But their manager, Paul Sturrock, knows they face a daunting 90 minutes at Ibrox. "Rangers are in a must-win ssituation so we can expect a tough game," he said.

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