Celtic coach Gavin Strachan discusses Livi match, title and player returns

By Euan Davidson

January 16, 2021

Celtic coach Gavin Strachan had a difficult afternoon.

As we’ve discussed, the Bhoys found it impossible to impose themselves against David Martindale’s in-form Livingston. Bafflingly, Tom Rogic was used as a centre-forward, while Shane Duffy had another tricky time.

Throughout, Celtic struggled to create opportunities, and Neil Lennon watching from home will have been immensely disappointed with his charges.

Simply put, Celtic shouldn’t be dropping points at home in the league. Yet, the game finished 0-0, with neither side able to full test the opposition goalkeeper (BBC).

Speaking to BBC Sportsound (17:17), Gavin Strachan, who once again led the team in Lennon’s stead, was honest in his assessment of today’s draw.

Ange Postecoglou shares Celtic transfer confidence

Strachan said:

“[It was a] tough afternoon. They made it really difficult for us and imposed their style of play on the game more than we did.

“I think we expect a little bit more with what we had. We were quite disappointed with the first-half performance. Little bit happier with moments in the second half when we got more control of the game. But we certainly wanted more control and more shots on goal.

“With events that have gone on, maybe [Celtic lack confidence]. We were in a really good moment leading up to the Rangers game, performance-wise. Events have maybe hit the confidence of the squad a bit.”

Shane Duffy in action for Celtic / (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic coach Gavin Strachan on the title and the future

Strachan spoke about his feelings on the match, as well as Neil Lennon’s remote involvement:

“Frustration. Frustration that they’ve not grasped an opportunity that’s come their way to really stake a claim. This is Celtic Football Club, it’s a frustration we’ve not won a home game.

“He’s relaid his thoughts to me before the game, and also after. I’ve just passed that on to the players. We didn’t impose our style of play on the game enough.”

On Celtic’s title chances, Strachan added:

“In normal circumstances it’d be very difficult, and it is going to be very difficult. But the way the world is now, there’s strange things happening all over the place.

“We’ve just got to get the core of our squad back, and get used to feel of winning games again. Feel a bit better about ourselves and go from there.”

Celtic coach Gavin Strachan / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic players to return to fold

There was a small bit of good news for Celtic supporters. Strachan clarified that the main core of the team will be back from self-isolation, following the club’s ridiculous winter trip.

The Celtic coach said to supporters:

“We’ve got a group of players coming back tomorrow. We’ll start training them, assess their fitness. Then the remaining players come back on Monday along with Neil and John.

“We understand their frustration. We’ve got to be together, stick in it together, and try to improve things.”

Meanwhile, Celtic fans are unhappy with one player in particular.