Burns stands firm despite Falkirk embarrassment

Scottish football
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The Independent Online
The Celtic manager, Tommy Burns, was in a defiant mood yesterday, insisting he would not quit Parkhead after his side's shock Scottish Cup exit against Falkirk at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

Burns' future was immediately the subject of speculation after their 1-0 semi-final replay defeat at the end of a season which will almost certainly see rivals Rangers collect their ninth championship in a row.

Burns said: "I will not be resigning. I can either walk away or stay and try and change it. I intend to stay and change it. I would be the first to admit I have made mistakes in the first three years I have been here but I also feel I have learned an enormous amount in that time and I intend to use that experience to the full in the future."

Celtic's managing director, Fergus McCann, said the club's overall "plan of action" had not changed. Chris Waddle is hoping Falkirk go on to lift the Scottish Cup following their shock semi-final victory over Celtic.

Waddle joined the Scottish First Division outfit last September on a match-by-match basis to help him build up his fitness. And the 36-year- old former England winger, who made four appearances and scored on his debut against Clydebank, was delighted to hear that the Bairns had reached their first final in 40 years. "I'm very pleased for them," Waddle said. "It's a great achievement for them to beat Celtic and hopefully they can go on and win the cup."

Waddle joined Bradford after his brief stint in Scotland and is now back in the Premiership bidding to steer Sunderland clear of relegation. But he has happy memories of his brief spell in Scotland and wishes he could be at Ibrox on 24 May for the final when Falkirk meet Kilmarnock.

"I go on holiday to America on the day of the final so I won't be able to go to it but I would definitely have gone otherwise," he said. "I might still be able to watch the game on satellite over there and it would be nice to see them win it.

"I was recovering from an injury at the time when I went up there. They did me a favour and I did them a favour. I enjoyed my time there and I still speak to people at the club. They're a great set of players there and the chairman [George Fulston] is a real character."

Falkirk were relegated from the Premier Division last year but Waddle is hoping a cup final victory will provide the impetus for a successful promotion campaign next season.

"For a club of their size they're ambitious, they've got plans for a new stadium and this [reaching the final] has come at a good time for them," Waddle added. "They've got a lot of experienced players and I believe they're good enough to play in the Premier Division.

"If they win the cup that might give them the push they need to go on and get promotion next season."