Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Inconsistent Celtic lose to St Mirren

St Mirren 1 Celtic 0

Gordon Strachan will look outside the coaching manual as he seeks answers to Celtic’s inconsistency in time for Sunday’s Old Firm Co-operative Insurance Cup final at Hampden.

The Parkhead boss is once again fighting off criticism after his side sensationally crashed out of the Homecoming Scottish Cup to St Mirren on Saturday.

Billy Mehmet’s second-half penalty — after Celtic skipper Stephen McManus had felled Craig Dargo inside the box — gave Saints their first cup win over Celtic in 47 years and put the Paisley side in to the semi-finals for the first time since they won the cup in 1987.

"We had three good performances in a row before the St Mirren game — but that wasn’t a good one", said Strachan.

"I’d love to get a consistency that you could pick the same team every week but we don’t have 11 or 12 who stay in the team all the time.

"That’s my job to find it but if you go along to the coaching courses they don’t say, ‘if you want to go back on a long run, this is what you do’.

"You don’t get that on a coaching course.

"You are out on a limb as a manager and you have to try and find ways to get that consistency back."

Strachan, who spent last week playing down the significance of the 7-0 victory over the Saints, claimed not to be surprised by the Paisley side’s reaction to their mauling.

"I knew they’d be organised and motivated," he said.

"There was nothing in that game I didn’t expect.

"Now we just have to get on with it.”

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