ON-LOAN Celtic forward Oli Burke says he is ready to lead the line for Scotland and revealed he feels he is learning a lot as he adapts to playing as a centre forward. "I think it’s gone really well playing as a striker and hopefully I can keep learning the trade in that position and continue," said Burke.

And Burke reckons that his decision to join Celtic has done wonders for his confidence. "Obviously it’s got me back on track," said Burke. "It’s sort of kickstarted my career back up again."

Rangers striker Jermain Defoe has described the dressing room at Ibrox in the wake of Aberdeen's 2-0 Scottish Cup win as 'flat', but insisted that the club's season is far from over. "It’s a massive football club with the demands to follow," said Defoe. "So you have to compete, it’s as simple as that."

And Defoe thinks that fans should be excited for the future under Steven Gerrard despite their Scottish Cup exit. The on-loan forward said: "I think if you look at the quality we’ve got in the dressing room, the international players we’ve got, it’s a time for the football club to be excited."

You can listen to the thoughts of Chris Jack, Graeme McGarry, Neil Cameron and Stewart Fisher on Steven Gerrard's debut season in the Ibrox dugout in the latest edition of the Herald and Times Sport podcast, available here.

Aberdeen winger Niall McGinn has insisted that Glasgow no longer holds a 'fear factor' for his team-mates after a recent run of good results in the city. "We’ve finished above Rangers in the league and on the road this season, we’re unbeaten in eight games," McGinn pointed out. "To see out the game with a second goal was a bit of a cushion."

The Herald's Stewart Fisher reckons Rangers should look to Derek McInnes' management of Aberdeen for inspiration as the club attempt to instill a sense of consistency in the squad.

Celtic left back Kieran Tierney has revealed that he owes much of his success to assistant manager John Kennedy, and inisted that he would not be where he is today without Kennedy's influence. "For me, in my career I wouldn’t be here without John," said Tierney. "He’s been in the background for a bit but now he seems to be getting the credit he deserves and the recognition."

And ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-finals next month, it is believed that the Scottish FA will give Celtic a larger ticket allocation at Hampden than their opponents Aberdeen. As many as 30,000 tickets could be reserved for Celtic fans.

Hibernian chief executive Leeann Dempster is adamant closing a section of Easter Road remains a last resort as she pleaded with the club’s supporters to work together to halt the tide of ‘loutish’ behaviour. Dempster said: "It has to stop and we need your help to make Easter Road Stadium the vibrant, noisy, colourful, exhilarating but safe, welcoming and tolerant place it normally is."

Sheffield Wednesday defender Liam Palmer is looking forward to joining the Scotland camp and reacquainting himself with his old unde-21 team-mates. Palmer said: "It’s a brilliant feeling and I’m just itching to meet up with a few of the boys that I haven’t seen since the under-21 camps."

Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu said that he is always looking to improve on the pitch and revealed he enjoys playing under pressure. "I’m not relaxed. I need to score more, I need to work harder, I need to do better. That’s just my mentality," Ikpeazu said.

And Partick Thistle winger Joe Cardle, who played in his side's 2-1 defeat at Tynecastle on Tuesday night, revealed that he cannot understand why the Jags are so far down the Championship table. "If you look at the quality we have in the changing room, it is hard to understand why we have been at the bottom for so long," said Cardle.

In rugby, Leicester and England wing Jonny May reckons that Manu Tuilagi's decision to commit his long-term future to the Tigers will help to revitalise the club in the near future. May said: "It would have been a huge loss for Leicester, but it was important that we supported him either way."

Scotland's Gordon Reid, who scored his only international try at Twickenham in match where Scotland were battered by England, says that the moment proved bittersweet for him. "It was great to get a try but, on the other hand, the scoreline obviously wasn’t the best. We were really disappointed," he said.

In swimming, Scotland's Hannah Miley is targeting her fourth Olympics as she bids to maintain her fitness for the 2020 tournament in Tokyo. Miley said: "I need to get my body to where I need it to be by the end of the year, then I would like to try to target the Olympic trials in April next year."

Elsewhere, the Scottish Sun are reporting that Rangers will appeal Alfredo Morelos' yellow card for simulation against Aberdeen on Tuesday night.

And Inverness Caledonian Thistle chairman Graham Rae has told the Daily Record that he is unhappy with the timing that has been mooted for his club's Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts next month, with kick-off scheduled for 12:15pm.