Scottish Football: Blow to Jackson

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The Independent Online
CHARGED with the task of restoring some pride to Scotland's crumbling European reputation at club level, Rangers, Airdrie, Celtic, Hibernian and Hearts will approach this week with varying degrees of optimism, having suffered contrasting fortunes on Saturday.

No Scottish team has reached the third round in European competition since 1988-89 - and Celtic, Hibernian and Airdrie all have problems. Even in victory, Hibs were losers at Celtic Park where Darren Jackson, the scorer of their second goal in a 3-2 win, suffered a leg gash which could put him out of contention for tomorrow's Uefa Cup home tie against Anderlecht.

Celtic also lost a forward, Tommy Coyne, who broke an arm in a reserve match, but Liam Brady, their manager, will be more concerned about the defensive lapses which allowed Hibs back into a game Celtic seemed to have won. Brady might be ready to restore Pat Bonner, the Republic of Ireland No 1, for tomorrow's Uefa Cup game at Cologne.

Airdrie, as European debutants, will do well to heed the lessons learned from a 2-1 home defeat by Dundee United. Jim McLean's side play the most European game of all Scottish clubs, and scored twice on the break at Broomfield while coping with everything the Diamonds threw at their defence. Sparta Prague, who beat Rangers and Marseille in last year's European Cup, visit Broomfield tomorrow in the Cup-Winners' Cup.

Rangers prepared for Wednesday's European Cup tie against Lyngby at Ibrox with a 4-1 win over Partick at Firhill, which included a Mark Hateley goal scored from 40 yards. Hearts, who trave to Slavia Prague in the Uefa Cup on Wednesday, beat Aberdeen 1-0 with a John Robertson goal.

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