Scottish Football: Beleaguered Macari demands sweat and toil

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The Independent Online
AFTER defeats for Celtic in all three Premier Division matches played in 1994, Lou Macari is facing the toughest challenge of his managerial career, writes Rupert Metcalf. Another loss in today's home game with Aberdeen at Parkhead would surely inspire outburts of rebellion at Parkhead.

It may be little consolation to Macari that the anger would be directed at the club's unpopular board of directors, as happened after the New Year's Day defeat by Rangers. Grand deeds were expected of Macari after he succeeded Liam Brady in the autumn, and so far he has failed to deliver.

With his team languishing in fifth place in the table, six points behind the leaders, Rangers, Macari is looking for extra effort from his players. 'I'm realistic enough to know now that things aren't going to happen overnight, and pounds 200,000 is about the limit of my price range for new players at the moment,' he said yesterday. 'We'll just have to keep working hard.'

The Celtic midfielder, Pat McGinlay, will be back against the Dons after a broken hand - as long as the referee, Hugh Williamson, approves the plaster cast he intends to wear. However, Tom Boyd is suspended and Dariusz Wdowczyk is injured, while Paul Byrne is doubtful with a swollen knee.

Aberdeen, level with Rangers on 34 points, have Lee Richardson back in their squad after suspension, along with Joe Miller and Mixu Paatelainen. Rangers, at Dundee, add Steven Pressley and Charlie Millar to their squad.