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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 October 2007, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Strachan unhappy with match ball
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
Strachan was critical of the ball used at Fir Park
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan thought his side were hampered by a poor pitch and ball as they hit back to snatch a late win at bottom club Gretna.

"The ball was out of shape and it was a bumpy surface," he told BBC Sport after the dramatic 2-1 victory at Fir Park.

"We tried to play football and it was nearly impossible.

"When Scott McDonald's header was cleared I thought it was going to be one of those days but, thankfully, the boys had other ideas and kept going."

Gretna were ahead at half-time thanks to a Fabian Yantorno free-kick but McDonald hit the winner in stoppage time after Chris Killen's 85th minute header.

"Gretna worked really hard to close us down and that made it difficult for us to move the ball around on that surface," added Strachan.

"We had one of our best performances a few weeks ago at Easter Road and lost two amazing goals to come away with nothing.

Full credit to Gretna, but I guess the game is not over until it's over
Scott McDonald

"We didn't play so well today but that's football. It's a crazy game."

Paul Hartley left the field after 18 minutes and Strachan doubts the midfielder will recover in time for Scotland's clash with Ukraine next weekend.

"He felt his hamstring and I would imagine it could be a problem for two or three weeks," Strachan said.

Fellow Scotland international Gary Caldwell played the full 90 minutes but appeared to be struggling with an injury in the final stages of the game.

Match-winner McDonald knows Fir Park well from his Motherwell days and is enjoying a fine run of scoring form.

"This ground holds special memories for me," McDonald told BBC Sport.

"I love it here and I was thinking halfway through this wasn't going to be a happy return for me.

"But I'm delighted to get the goal again in the 90th minute. We're making some nice habits of that but hopefully we don't have to do that every game.

"They were in our faces, there were always two or three people around the ball every time you got it.

"Full credit to Gretna, but I guess the game is not over until it's over.

"Five minutes is a long time in football. Everyone was saying 'we are going to go on and win this'.

Gretna 1-2 Celtic
07 Oct 07 |  Scottish Premier


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