Burns goes Dutch

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The Independent Online
After watching his side lose to a late penalty at Motherwell, Tommy Burns, the Celtic manager, yesterday flew to the Netherlands, where he will spend three days investigating the training routines at Ajax in the hope of incorporating new ideas at his ownclub.

"I didn't suddenly know everything when I became Celtic manager," said Burns, who added that he had no plans to watch players while abroad. He has, however, been linked with two Russian World Cup men playing in Spain: Oleg Salenko of Valencia and DimitriRadchenko, the Santander striker.

Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, risked a heavy fine for speaking his mind on Saturday when he criticised the referee at Ibrox, where Rangers drew 1-1 with Dundee United. Hugh Dallas twice refused penalty appeals for rugged challenges on David Robertson.

Smith said: " This could cost me £1,000 or more in fines. The Dundee United manager [Ivan Golac] said, when they came to Ibrox last season, that they never got any decisions here. He said that his side would have had a penalty at any other ground in Scotland.

"After today we can say that, at any other ground in Scotland, we might have had two."

Rangers stretched their lead at the top of the league despite failing to take full points, as second-placed Hibernian lost 2-1 at home to the bottom club, Partick Thistle, allowing the reigning champions to move 15 points clear.

Thistle, with just one defeat in their last six games, are beginning to see some daylight ahead of them, and victory in the game in hand they have over Aberdeen would be sufficient to condemn the Dons to bottom place. Willie Miller's side, who lost 3-1 at Kilmarnock, have a lot to do between now and the end of the season.