SPL Team of the Week - April 05
TOMAS CERNY (Hamilton): The Accies have made a nonsense of those who tipped them for relegation from the SPL and the ubiquitous Cerny has been one of their leading luminaries. He kept his team in with a chance throughout their 1-0 defeat at Ibrox and produced several excellent saves as Rangers struggled to close out the match.
SOL BAMBA (Hibs): One of the few Easter Road personnel to maintain his form as the season has continued, Bamba was an impressive performer during his side's 1-0 loss to Celtic in a game which could have gone either way. An effective distributor, he is also assured on the ball and snuffed out the sting of most of his opponents.
DARREN BARR (Falkirk): He was praised as a "warrior" by his manager, Steven Pressley, following the Bairns' important 1-0 away victory against Motherwell and Barr really was a rock-like presence at the heart of the visitors' defence as they resisted the efforts of their opponents to wrest back the initiative in the second period.
MARIUS ZALIUKAS (Hearts): His club have suffered an inauspicious SPL campaign with too many afternoons where their players look as if they haven't been introduced to one another for Jim Jefferies'peace of mind. However, just as the Tynecastle personnel seemed to be slipping to defeat at the hands of St Mirren, Zaliukas seized a crucial goal, which means that they still retain hopes of a top-six place.
MAURICE EDU (Rangers): With the Ibrox club missing several players with injury and as others in the ranks toil to maintain their standards, amidst a gruelling schedule, the fresh legs provided by Edu have been gratefully received by Walter Smith. The American hit the winner against Hamilton and buzzed with industry throughout the tussle.
GRAHAM CAREY (St Mirren): The young Irishman, currently on loan from Celtic, illuminated an otherwise drab 1-1 contest with Hearts with a quite magnificent exhibition of his menace at set pieces, unleashing a 35m free kick which evoked comparisons with Juninho or David Beckham. One suspects he will return to Parkhead promptly.
JAMES McARTHUR (Hamilton): There is much talk of this talented youngster moving to a more exalted environment in the summer and he certainly caused Rangers plenty of problems at Ibrox. He even scored an "equaliser" against Rangers, controversially ruled out for offside. Even Walter Smith admitted that it was nothing of the kind.
JODY MORRIS ( St Johnstone): The Englishman has come on to a terrific game in the last couple of months and, although he was on the wrong side of a narrow defeat in Perth, he created sufficient chances and hit the ground running like the Roadrunner. It wasn't his fault that his strikers were so profligate.
ALLAN RUSSELL (Kilmarnock): Along with Kevin Kyle, the Rugby park duo pose a constant threat for rivals and Aberdeen had no answer to their attacking forays on Sunday at Rugby Park, where Killie won 2-0 to ease their relegation worries. Russell applied the coup de grace when he headed home James Fowler's perfectly-weighted free kick.
ROBBIE KEANE (Celtic): On the basis that goals win matches, Keane has already done enough for his new gaffer, Neil Lennon, for the latter to express a desire to keep him beyond the end of the season. Such an outcome seems unlikely, but, once again, it was the prolific Keane who provided the winner for his team in their victory over Hibs.
JON DALY(Dundee United): He's not the most popular figure in Scottish football, because he calls things as he sees them, but Daly, like his close golfing namesake, keeps his short game 100% accurate. His 11th goal of the season saw off St Johnstone and also meant that he will probably be linked to the Old Firm in the next few days.
MARK McGHEE (Aberdeen): No matter what he tries, it seems that the Dons are on a downward spiral, and despite McGhee's pre-match exhortations, they slumped to a 2-0 defeat against fellow-strugglers Kilmarnock. It was the sort of result which means that, if the likes of Falkirk and St Mirren keep gaining points, could see the Pittodrie collective dragged into an eleventh-hour relegation fight. The manager has talked of making wholesale changes in the summer, but will he even survive until then?