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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 22:40 GMT 23:40 UK
O'Neill refuses to panic
Shaun Fagan and Jamie McFadden celebrate at Fir Park
Fagan and McFadden scored Well's two goals
Martin O'Neill insisted that defeat by Motherwell was simply a setback and not a sign that his Celtic side's domination of Scottish football was receding.

Celtic's first defeat in the Scottish Premierleague since December came shortly after a disappointing exit in the qualifying round for the Champions League.

The consolation of a place in the Uefa Cup failed to lift the mood of depression around Celtic Park.

Tuesday's 2-1 defeat by Motherwell now means that Rangers now have the chance to overtake the champions and present leaders should they record a win over Hearts at Ibrox on Wednesday.


We lost the game, but we will come back again
Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
But O'Neill insisted that his players will bounce back from their latest blow.

"We have to win matches early on in the season and this is a setback - but no more," said the Celtic manager.

"I was disappointed with the result, obviously, and of course they came strongly in the second half.

"They took the goals at very important stages of the match and they did well to weather the storm and did very well.

"It must have been an excellent game to watch, especially in the second half, and the goal was little consolation to us.

"We lost the game, but we will come back again."

Motherwell boss Terry Butcher had double reason to celebrate after revealing that he had also been cleared by the Scottish Football Association of misconduct.

He had been sent to the stand at Livingston earlier in the season after a touchline bust-up, but he was let off the hook.

"It's not been a bad day," he enthused. "It's quite an amazing double, because I went to a disciplinary hearing this morning and they said I had no case to answer."

His day was complete when Shaun Fagan and James McFadden scored late goals and Celtic could not add to John Hartson's consolation.


They had the belief tonight that has been missing
Well boss Terry Butcher
While he admitted that his side were fortunate to take full points, Butcher praised his side's battling performance.

"They have been doing that since 1 July, when I first came here," he said.

"It could have gone either way, but they had the belief tonight that has been missing.

"I told them before the game that they should have the belief to win and they did it.

"We rode our luck a few times and Larsson had some great opportunities, but we put them under a lot of pressure.

"There was some do-or-die defending out there, but we managed to keep a clean sheet. Luck was on our side tonight."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Roddy Forsyth
"Motherwell shocked champions Celtic"
Motherwell boss Terry Butcher
"In the end it was like the Alamo"
Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
"It wasn't our night"
The SPL season gets under way

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