Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...
Scotland interim manager Malky Mackay has named a much-changed squad for the friendly against the Netherlands. The Scots take on the Dutch at Pittodrie a week on Thursday in the first match of the post-Gordon Strachan era. Mackay has chosen to freshen things up against Holland, with Dons trio Graeme Shinnie, Kenny McLean and on-loan Ryan Christie all included. Also given the nod by Mackay are former Hibs frontman Jason Cummings, now at Nottingham Fiorest, Easter Road defender Paul Hanlon and midfielder Ryan Jack of Rangers. Embarrassingly, Scotland and Celtic captain Scott Brown’s name was left off the initial list Tweeted out by the SFA but included in later versions. Squad: Archer (Millwall), Gordon (Celtic), Marshall (Hull); Berra (Hearts), Cooper (Leeds), Hanlon (Hibs), Mulgrew (Blackburn), Paterson (Cardiff), Robertson (Liverpool), Tierney (Celtic); Armstrong (Celtic), Brown (Celtic), Fletcher (Stoke), Forrest (Celtic), Fraser (Bournemouth), Jack (Rangers), McGinn (Hibs), McGregor (Celtic), McLean (Aberdeen), Phillips (West Brom), Shinnie (Aberdeen), Christie (Aberdeen, on loan from Celtic); Cummings (Nottingham Forest), Griffiths (Celtic).
What you'll find in your morning edition. Courier Sport has the latest news from our SPL clubs. There’s a Dundee injury boost, a Dundee United player facing a race against time to play Hearts, and St Johnstone try to tie one of their star players down on a new contract. Also, read full match reports and reaction from Forfar Athletic and East Fife’s Tuesday night Second Division games, as well as a preview of Montrose’s trip to East Stirling. Columnist Christian Dailly pays tribute to former Dundee United team-mate Charlie Adam senior, who died earlier this week. This week’s Midweek Interview is with Nottingham Forest’s two-time European Cup winner from Montrose, John McGovern. * For all this and more, pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Courier or try our new digital edition.
Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.
Alex McLeish has left his role as Nottingham Forest manager by mutual consent, the npower Championship club have confirmed. Recent reports speculated that McLeish was considering his future at the City Ground after little over a month at the helm. The former Scotland boss was left frustrated after missing out on several transfer targets last month - most notably Peterborough winger George Boyd whose move to the east midlands was scuppered by a failed eye test. And a bad week for McLeish was capped on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat at his former club Birmingham, where both Blues goals were scored by another player he tried to sign - Chris Burke. It is thought the reason behind McLeish’s decision to leave Forest isinterference from the club’s Kuwaiti owners, the Al-Hasawi family, in teamaffairs. McLeish, who replaced Sean O’Driscoll as manager on December 27, said via a statement on the club’s official website: “I am extremely saddened to be leaving after such a short period. “But even so, it has been a privilege to be manager of such a fantastic football club and I want to thank the players, staff and fans for their support and wish Nottingham Forest the best of fortunes ahead. “Both parties entered into the relationship in good faith. However, there was a difference in the understanding of the development strategy of the football club and it was felt by both parties that we should part company.”
Shaun Maloney has been ruled out of the Scotland squad for the final World Cup qualifier against Croatia. Maloney, who scored a spectacular late winner against Macedonia last month, has missed Wigan's last four matches with a back injury and is not in Gordon Strachan's squad for the October 15 clash at Hampden. Celtic winger James Forrest, who has missed recent action because of sciatica and a virus, is also absent for fitness reasons despite coming off the bench during his team's Champions League defeat by Barcelona on Tuesday night. Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has otherwise picked a largely familiar squad with the suspended Steven Whittaker the only other significant omission following last month's double header against Belgium and Macedonia. Derby midfielder Craig Bryson, Rangers left-back Lee Wallace and Birmingham winger Chris Burke retain their places after being handed late call-ups last month. Hull pair Allan McGregor and George Boyd are in the squad following injury along with West Brom midfielders Graham Dorrans and James Morrison. St Mirren goalkeeper Craig Samson and Nottingham Forest forward Jamie Mackie drop out.
Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. email@example.com
Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km
Scotland’s new under-19 coach Scot Gemmill has named a 20-strong squad for friendly matches against Bulgaria at the beginning of next month. Dundee striker Craig Wighton, currently on loan at Raith Rovers, is included as is Chelsea midfielder Ruben Sammut, who played a part in the London club’s Uefa Youth League success last season. The squad is Goalkeepers Robby McCrorie (Rangers), Devlin Mackay (Kilmarnock); Defenders Ross McCrorie (Rangers), Kieran Tierney (Celtic), Kyle Cameron (Newcastle), Sam Wardrop (Celtic), Zak Jules (Reading); Midfielders Joseph Thomson (Celtic), Scott Martin (Hibernian), Ruben Sammut (Chelsea), Jack Breslin (Celtic), Mark Hill (Celtic), Frank Ross (Aberdeen), Aidan Nesbitt (Celtic); Forwards Ryan Hardie (Rangers), Craig Wighton (Dundee), Greg Kiltie (Kilmarnock), Scott Wright (Aberdeen), Oliver Burke (Nottingham Forest).
Dundee boss Neil McCann is looking at former Rangers and Aberdeen target Khalid Aucho and ex-Nottingham Forest striker James Demetriou as he bids to ease his selection crisis. Injuries to Craig Wighton, Sofien Moussa, Marcus Haber and Faissal El Bakhtaoui have left the Dens men without a fit frontman as Sunday’s home Premiership clash against Hibs approaches. Both men played for the Dark Blues’ under-20 side against Hearts last night. Midfielder Aucho (24) was linked with the Ibrox side last summer before joining the Dons on trial, only for the move to be scuppered due to a large transfer fee being requested by his club. The Ugandan international, who has 32 caps for his country, spent last season with Red Star Belgrade and OFK Beograd in Serbia but is now a free agent. Demetriou started his career with Western Sydney Wanderers in Australia but moved to Forest then Swansea. He did not play for either but spent time on loan in the English National League with Wealdstone before moving to Cyprus with Karmiotissa.