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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 January 2006, 16:36 GMT
Strachan hails a classic victory
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
Gordon Strachan refused to rule Hearts out the title race after his side's 3-2 victory over Celtic's nearest rivals in what he viewed as a "classic" game.

"It just makes us feel a bit better about ourselves," said the Celtic boss.

"Give credit to Hearts. They bombarded us at the start and showed great power and lots of skill. We had a problem and to come back from that was excellent.

"It was a classic. The game had everything. And to come from two goals behind to win is a good feeling."

Strachan admitted that he had to change his tactics to cope with Hearts.

"We realised by half time that we could not overpower them as they are big strong lads, so we thought we could be quicker them and put on some fresh legs," he said.

Strachan praised substitute Stephen Pearson, whose goal brought Celtic back into the game after he replaced the injured Stilian Petrov.

New signing Roy Keane could not be registered in time to face Hearts but is available make his debut against Clyde in the Scottish Cup.

"With the way Pearo's playing, I don't know what I'll do," said Strachan.

"Stilian's injured, so there's a gap in midfield, but we certainly have options."


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