McLeish returns to pressure game

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Rangers' midweek 1-1 draw at Porto in the Champions' League gave Alex McLeish a flicker of hope of keeping his job but he knows it will be all but extinguished without a result at Hibernian tomorrow. Rangers have won only twice in their last 13 games and when they kick off at Easter Road they will probably be 18 points behind table-topping Celtic.

Celtic are 15 points ahead of their Old Firm rivals this morning but face bottom-placed, out-of-form Dunfermline at Celtic Park this afternoon. Second-placed Hearts, 13 points ahead of Rangers, face a more difficult task at Terry Butcher's Motherwell. Third-placed Hibs start the weekend eight points clear of Rangers, and will be watched tomorrow by a delegation from Chelsea, who are hoping to start an informal player-swapping relationship with the club.

A dramatic upturn in Rangers' domestic fortunes is as important, if not more so, than progressing to the knockout stages in Europe. McLeish must try to inspire it without Dado Prso, his talismanic striker, who is out with a hamstring injury. Thomas Buffel and Nacho Novo, who could add attacking options, are also still out, with knee and foot injuries respectively.

Hearts, who should have their striker Roman Bednar available, have dismissed reports linking the former Scotland manager, Craig Brown, to the job of director of football at Tynecastle. Roman Romanov, the club's chairman, has claimed Hearts have a director of football, "working incognito", and this "well known" figure's identity will be revealed soon.

Comments