Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

‘Trust’ is key to Celtic's title tilt, says Strachan

Gordon Strachan believes "trust" will underpin Celtic's bid to retain their Clydesdale Bank Premier League title.

After Rangers could only draw 1-1 with Hibs on Wednesday night, 24 hours after the champions had beaten Dundee United 2-1 at Parkhead, Celtic found themselves back above the Ibrox side at the top of the SPL by just two goals.

Strachan's side have two games remaining, a trip to Easter Road tomorrow and a home game against Hearts on the last day.

Rangers face Aberdeen on Saturday and then travel to Tannadice to take on Dundee United next Sunday.

While permutations are being explored and discussed, including the very real possibility the championship could go down to goal difference, Strachan will focus on his squad's spirit to see them over the line for the fourth season in succession.

He said: "It's trust. Trust in your team mates, trust in your own ability and trust in the way you play. It's like the golfer coming down the 16th, 17th and 18th — they've got to trust their swing.

"It's the same with football, there is a lot of trust to it.

"You have to trust your team-mates, and your manager and coaches, and trust that you are doing the right things.

"No change, no panic, don't do anything different — trust yourself."

Strachan (pictured), who confirmed he has made a bid for 18-year-old Hamilton midfielder James McCarthy, believes the high stakes his side are playing for over the next 180 minutes all but negates the need for a rousing teamtalk at Easter Road.

"We are at the stage where you hardly have to do one," he said.

"I hardly did one at Ibrox last week and very little the other night (against United).

"You are at the stage where you know who you are playing against and there is nothing new tactically that you can spring on anybody.

"I have done many motivational speeches which I thought were fantastic and had the dressing room buzzing, and then went out and got beaten. So there are times when you just have to leave it or keep it to the minimum — and the time is now."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre