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Page last updated at 22:52 GMT, Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Strachan keen to keep team intact

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
Strachan watched his side defeat Villarreal 2-0

Celtic boss Gordon Strachan is keen to retain his squad in order to make an impact in Europe next season.

Shaun Maloney and Aiden McGeady scored as Celtic beat Villarreal 2-0 in their final Champions League game.

But despite Wednesday's victory the Scottish champions had already been certain to finish bottom of Group E.

"If we stay together and don't have to sell anyone, that will be smashing. The longer we stay as a group the better it is for everybody," said Strachan.

Victory over the Spanish side was Celtic's first of the campaign and Strachan believes his team were unfortunate not to pick up more points from the group stage.

"We had a penalty at home against Aalborg and (if we score) we win the game and that's three points," he added.

"We did enough in Aalborg to win the game, everybody in this room whom I met has said we deserved to win.

"We had a smashing performance against Villarreal away and we were six minutes away from beating Manchester United here, although we obviously had our backs to the wall.

"If you look at that then you can count up a few points that went missing."

Goalkeeper Artur Boruc was selected in goal for Celtic despite an error in the weekend defeat at Hibernian.

And the Polish international made an important second-half save from Nihat Kahveci as Villarreal threatened to claw back their two-goal deficit.

"Artur did well," said Strachan. "I did my bit by picking him, that says everything."

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see also
Celtic 2-0 Villarreal
10 Dec 08 |  Europe


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