Scottish Football: Collins looks for the exit

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EVERY WAR has its casualties and in his battle to take Celtic back to their rightful place in Scottish football, Lou Macari could be forced to sacrifice John Collins, his experienced and influential midfield player, writes David McKinney.

Collins is a target for Mike Walker, the newly installed manager of Everton, who will have the opportunity of scrutinising his team-mate, Gerry Creaney, when the Celtic striker arrives in Liverpool for training this week.

Creaney would seem the better placed to move, as he is on a month- to-month contract, while Collins signed a three-year deal in the summer. However, he is known to have a dislike for the more direct tactics Macari has introduced since he became manager at Parkhead.

Macari needs to raise funds before he buys quality players. At present, he has admitted that pounds 200,000 is just about all he can afford.

While sections of the Celtic support met yesterday to consider the prospect of boycotting matches, their mood can only be darkened by the loss of a player like Collins - unless a successor is quickly procured. Celtic's game against Aberdeen on Saturday was abandoned in the second half because of fog - the two sides will try again on Wednesday.

With Motherwell also idle after their game at Perth was postponed, Rangers were unable to take advantage at the top of the Premier Division, relying on a late goal from Gordon Durie to share the points with the bottom club, Dundee, at Dens Park.

Hibernian moved into third place after a fine second-half performance gave them a 3-0 win over Kilmarnock.

Danny McGrain, the former Celtic and Scotland captain, has resigned as the manager of Arbroath for personal reasons.