HIBERNIAN caretaker-manager Jocky Scott is likely to make his first signing this morning when Celtic's John Hughes becomes an Easter Road player. The fee will be in the region of #200,000.

Hibs have a number of serious injury problems, and the signing of the 32-year-old defender helps to solve one of their key areas of difficulty. Injuries to Brian Welsh, Gordon Hunter, and Joe McLaughlin have meant that Scott has struggled to find an experienced pairing in central defence. On Saturday midfielder Pat McGinlay played there when Celtic won 4-0.

If Hughes signs he will line up against Kilmarnock in the televised game at Rugby Park on Friday night. While he was a success for Celtic after his surprise move from Falkirk last season, the signing of English internationalist Alan Stubbs has meant Hughes has spent most of the season in the reserves.

Meantime, Celtic manager Tommy Burns has been named Manager of the Month for October by Scottish League sponsors Bells. Remarkably, it is the first time since he took over at Celtic in July, 1994, that Burns has collected one of the monthly awards.

Ranger Brian Laudrup was named Player of the Month after scoring five times in October. Aberdeen teenager Darren Young is Young Player of the Month.

Celtic took seven points out of nine in three matches in October. They beat Motherwell, drew at Hearts and hammered Hibernian to stay within two points of Rangers at the top of the table.

In the first division, Partick Thistle's Murdo MacLeod picks up the manager's honour after reviving the fortunes of Partick Thistle. Relegated Thistle made a poor start in the lower league, but are now climbing the table.

Campbell Money, of Stranraer, takes the award in the second division and Ross County's Neale Cooper collected the third division prize.

q.DUNDEE United manager Tommy McLean last night completed a deal to bring Swedish midfielder Lars Zetterlund to Tannadice. Then he got down to negotiations which could mean another top Swede, former under-21 international goalkeeper Magnus Kilstadt, signing in time to face Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday.

The keeper, who has been training with United this week and turned out in a closed-door game against Dundee, flew home yesterday. But McLean said: ``We will be discussing his situation in the next 48 hours. There are several complications, but I wouldn't rule him out of being involved at Motherwell.''

United's first-choice keeper, Ally Maxwell, had a knee operation earlier this week and McLean also has former Sheffield Wednesday keeper Lance Key standing by.

q.MOTHERWELL striker Tommy Coyne could play himself back into premier division action today. Coyne has been on the sidelines after having a cyst removed in a knee operation, but will be included this afternoon against Rangers in a reserve match at Bathgate.

Manager Alex McLeish said: ``Tommy played in a closed door match earlier this week and looked good. He'll come on during the reserve match so that we can have another look at him. I would like to see him back in the top squad on Saturday against Dundee United.''

Winger Andy Roddie also plays this afternoon ahead of going to Stockport next week for a trial period.

q.JIMMY Thomson, the former Raith Rovers manager, has been appointed to take over second division Berwick Rangers - his second time in charge at Shielfield Park.

Thomson last night called for all-out effort from his players. He said: ``One look at the table shows how tough it is going to be. We are bottom and our aim is to stay in this league.

``I was impressed with the directors. Now I want the players to be just as ambitious. I will have my first look at the side on Saturday when we play Hamilton, and that's a good game to come in on.

``They are one of the promotion favourites and we must compare ourselves to clubs like that. Every player will get a chance to prove himself and to show that he wants to play for Berwick. However, I will assess the situation quickly and will not hesitate to make changes if necessary.''