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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 11:41 GMT
Strachan looks for Milan response
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
Gordon Strachan says his side need better technique
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan praised his young players but asked them to have more belief after their 0-0 draw with AC Milan in the Champions League.

"I must congratulate them on their determination not to concede a goal, but we have to play better technically," he said.

"But, if the spirit is the same and we take the technique up, I believe we can give them a scare in the second leg.

"They would then have to score two, but we have to believe in ourselves more."

Chances were in short supply for Celtic in the last-16 match, while Milan spurned a number of opportunities.

We had a few scares but I don't know if the goalie had a real save to make

Celtic boss
Gordon Strachan

"They're a fantastic side and a good barometer of where you want to go as a football club," said Strachan.

"We're miles away as a football club, but big hearts kept us in it. It was tough, it was a great experience.

"If you look at our back four compared to their back four - 20-year-old, 20-year-old, 24, 26 - that's a group which has never played before in a Champions League game and they didn't let in any goals.

"We had a few scares but I don't know if the goalie had a real save to make."

Artur Boruc kept out a couple of goalbound shots from Alberto Gilardino, while Strachan admitted that Celtic "never really tested the goal at any time whatsoever".

Darren O'Dea beats Gilardino to the ball
Darren O'Dea said he enjoyed his first Champions League start

However, he said he had players who "can create a bit of brilliance" needed to score in Italy.

Strachan picked out his young players - midfielders Aiden McGeady and Evander Sno and defender Darren O'Dea - for particular praise.

Former Celtic captain Tommy Boyd said Milan were favourites to go through, but believed his old club could cause an upset.

"It'll be backs to the wall," Boyd told BBC Scotland.

"If Celtic get a chance they'll need to take it because you've seen the quality of Milan in possession.

"Young Darren O'Dea came in and did exceptionally well - and the key thing was they didn't concede a goal, and that was vitally important to give themselves a chance."

O'Dea said he enjoyed his first start in the Champions League and was looking forward to the return leg in Milan.

"It was super," he said. "These are the players you want to be playing against.

"They are the top players in the world and it's an honour to be playing against them.

"It's exciting and it can also be worrying - but we kept them quiet and we're delighted about that."



SEE ALSO
Celtic 0-0 AC Milan
20 Feb 07 |  Europe
Ancelotti confident of progress
20 Feb 07 |  Europe
Champions League clockwatch
20 Feb 07 |  Europe
Champions League photos
20 Feb 07 |  Football


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