Scottish Football: Underdogs applauded

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THE LESSER lights of the Premier Division continue to earn deserved praise, writes David McKinney. Motherwell, the early season leaders, remain in an elevated position, while the newcomers, Kilmarnock and Raith Rovers, took points off the Old Firm this weekend.

Having previously won against Rangers at Ibrox, Kilmarnock, managed by the former Celtic favourite, Tommy Burns, visited Parkhead and smuggled a point back to Ayrshire, after battling their way to a 0-0 draw.

Like Celtic, Rangers are experiencing hardship. They were knocked out of the European Cup last week and the hangover continued at the weekend. Despite the return to action of Ally McCoist, it took an own goal by Peter Hetherston to give Rangers their goal in a 1-1 draw with Raith at Kirkcaldy.

McCoist needs a few more games and he will not be included in Craig Brown's first Scotland squad, to be named today for the forthcoming match against Italy. Another absentee could be Eoin Jess, the Aberdeen forward. He was carried off during the 0-0 draw at Motherwell with suspected kidney damage.