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Page last updated at 23:03 GMT, Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Strachan upbeat despite Euro exit

Gordon Strachan
Strachan feels Celtic will learn from their games against Barcelona

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan insists his side can break through the barrier of the last 16 of the Champions League if they start trusting their ability.

The Scottish champions' interest ended at the same stage for a second season in a row after a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Nou Camp.

"After playing AC Milan last season and now Barcelona, I know we can progress.

"I'm sure the players agree after coming up against Barcelona, the potential Champions League winners."

The Catalan club had led 3-2 from the first leg in Glasgow and Xavi's goal from a Sylvinho cross after three minutes effectively ended any hopes of an unlikely Celtic comeback.

However, Strachan believes his players can make the quarter-finals in the future.

"They will not be demoralised. They need to trust themselves and free ourselves from worry, thinking of what might happen instead of making it happen," he said.

"There was too much thinking, sometimes you need to play from the heart."

But while Strachan was disappointed at the loss of such an early goal, he was satisfied with how his players responded.

"When you make a plan, part of the deal is that you tackle and we didn't get that right for the goal," he said.

"We tried to consolidate in the first half and not lose another goal," he admitted.

"In the second half I thought we did quite well, we were braver and we got closer to people.

"I don't think many players played well in the first leg but a lot of them gave a better indication of themselves as the second half went on."



see also
Barcelona 1-0 Celtic (agg: 4-2)
04 Mar 08 |  Europe
Champions League as it happened
04 Mar 08 |  Europe
Champions League photos
04 Mar 08 |  Europe
Celtic Player Rater
17 Jan 07 |  Live Text


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