Trappatoni says leave Stephen Ireland alone



McGeady’s Goal

AIDEN McGeady has been set a goal scoring challenge by new Celtic boss Tony Mowbray after opening his season’s tally with a double in the 3-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittordrie on Saturday.

The Irish winger almost grabbed a hat-trick as the Bhoys enjoyed the perfect warm-up for this week’s Champions League showdown with Arsenal.

Scott McDonald grabbed the third goal and afterwards McGeady revealed that Mowbray has thrown down the goal scoring gauntlet to his wide players.

“The manager said to Shaun Maloney and me before the game that he wants us to get to at least double figures this season and I totally agree with him,” said McGeady.

“I definitely need to improve on my goal scoring and today was great but the main thing is we got off to a good start in the league.

“We played very well in the first half, there was a lot of attacking football and it could have been five or six. I think the gaffer was disappointed because with Aberdeen getting the goal in the second half, it could have been a nervy finish. But overall it was a good day at the office.”

Plymouth Argyle have signed 20-year-old Irish striker Cillian Sheridan on a long-term loan deal from Celtic. And Hull City have been linked with a move for Celtic’s German defender Andreas Hinkel.

“We are aware of some interest and there has been interest since the day I came here,” Mowbray said.

“I don’t think Andreas is in any rush to leave this football club and we are in no rush to move him on. But as I said before, if we are going to rotate our squad around and improve certain areas, then if the right deal comes along for this club we will assess it and see if it is something that we want to do or not.”

Newly released figures show that Celtic cut their debts in half after making a pre-tax profit of £2 million last season on turnover of almost £73 million.

Celtic have confirmed they will face Benfica in a friendly in Toronto on September 2.


Dunne’s Wish

IRISH defender Richard Dunne wants to stay and fight for his place at Manchester City despite persistent rumors that he will be sold by boss Mark Hughes to make way for Everton’s Joleon Lescott.

Aston Villa, Spurs, Portsmouth and Sunderland have all been linked with the 29-year-old Dubliner, who played in Saturday’s opening Premier League win at Blackburn.

“Nothing has been said to me about leaving the club,” Dunne told the Irish Star Sunday. “I’ve got three years left on my contract and I am very happy. This is an exciting time at City.

“There is a real competition for places and I’m prepared to fight for mine. I’ve heard that Aston Villa, Spurs, Sunderland, Arsenal and Stoke are all interested in me and that is very flattering, but I’ll continue to do my best for the club until I’m told otherwise.”


McCarthy Upbeat

WOLVES boss Mick McCarthy remained upbeat despite his side’s 2-0 defeat at home to West Ham on their Premier League return on Saturday.

Mark Noble and Matthew Upson scored either side of halftime as Wolves, missing injured Irish striker Kevin Doyle, failed to take several scoring chances.

McCarthy said, “I thought we played well and gave a good performance but I want to win. I do not think we have that many lessons to learn.

“What it did confirm is that when we play as well as that we have to take our chances and we have to score. If there is anything to learn that just playing well is not enough. That is what we should understand.”


Soccer Shorts

DAMIEN Duff has finally escaped the nonsense at crisis club Newcastle United after passing a medical at Fulham which has agreed a $6 million deal for the Dubliner. Fellow Irish winger Stephen Hunt has completed a move to Hull City from Reading on a four year deal . . .

SHAMROCK Rovers have signed 21-year-old former Hibernian midfielder Ross Chisholm until the end of the current season.