Stra­chan has no re­grets about Pit­to­drie be­hav­iour

The Herald - Herald Sport - - Football - MARK WIL­SON

GOR­DON STRA­CHAN has made it clear he harbours no re­grets about his dis­missal at Pit­to­drie and in­sisted that any­one would have acted in the same man­ner if placed in the sit­u­a­tion.

The Celtic man­ager could po­ten­tially face a 10-match touch­line ban af­ter be­ing sent to the stand by Char­lie Rich­mond, the ref­eree, dur­ing last Sun­day’s 3-1 win over Aberdeen. Stra­chan, though, re­gards the spat as a “moral ar­gu­ment” rather than a foot­balling is­sue and said he was de­lighted with the level of sup­port since re­ceived.

Stra­chan was sent off af­ter leav­ing his tech­ni­cal area to re­mon­strate with an Aberdeen stew­ard and re­mains re­luc­tant to en­ter into spe­cific de­tails with a dis­ci­plinary case pend­ing from the Scot­tish Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion.

Tommy Burns, the Celtic first team coach, said af­ter the Pit­to­drie game that Stra­chan had in­ter­vened to de­fend Garry Pen­drey, his as­sis­tant, against al­le­ga­tions from the stew­ard he sought to pro­voke the home fans with a ges­ture.

Stra­chan will be asked by the SFA for his com­ments, but has yet to re­ceive any com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Ham­p­den with re­gard to his third dis­missal in Scot­tish foot­ball.

An ap­peal against his send­ing-off dur­ing a game against Hearts in April has still to be heard, but Stra­chan in­sisted the only oc­ca­sion he was at fault was in an ar­gu­ment with John McG­lynn which saw him dis­patched to the Tynecas­tle stand in Au­gust 2006.

“It’s very hard for me to speak about this be­fore the re­port, one day we can go into it in full,” said Stra­chan when asked about the in­ci­dent in Aberdeen.

“It will be self ex­plana­tory at that time, but un­til then there are grey ar­eas. What I can say is that I’ve had fan­tas­tic sup­port from ev­ery­body. There are three points here. Point one, I was never abused by any Aberdeen fans, let’s get that right.

“Two, I never spoke back to any Aberdeen fan. And three, my prob­lem is that it was a moral ar­gu­ment, a moral de­ci­sion I made. It was noth­ing what­so­ever to do with foot­ball.

“I’m quite happy with my be­hav­iour, I’m al­right. It’s a moral ar­gu­ment and I defy any­one not to do what I did.

“There is only one time, when I had an ar­gu­ment with John McG­lynn, that I trans­gressed. Other than that, do I have any re­grets? No. I think my be­hav­iour has been as good as any­body’s.”

Stra­chan will lock horns with Hearts again this af­ter­noon as the Ed­in­burgh club seek their first vic­tory of the sea­son at Park­head.

“Hearts were un­for­tu­nate not to win against Gretna last week, I was there,” said the Celtic man­ager.

“They started the game very well and had good en­ergy to them. I think you will find Hearts will be big and strong what­ever the cir­cum­stances.

“But we’ve made a bet­ter start than we did last year. Our per­for­mances have been far bet­ter than they were last year and far bet­ter than they were the sea­son be­fore.

“This year is ac­tu­ally our best start to a sea­son, so I can’t do any­thing other than say ‘well done lads’.”

The fi­nal week of the trans­fer win­dow has now been en­tered, with Lawrie Sanchez, the Ful­ham man­ager, re­veal­ing the Lon­don club have en­quired about Thomas Gravesen. The Dan­ish mid­fielder has long been a mis­fit at Park­head, yet is un­der­stood to be seek­ing a pay-off from his Celtic con­tract be­fore mov­ing else­where.

“Whether we sell any­one de­pends on whether some­one wants to buy,” said Stra­chan. “We have had an en­quiry about Thomas and I think Lawrie has men­tioned that. That’s about it.

“I don’t know about Thomas and Ful­ham. If any­body phones me I just point them in the di­rec­tion of Peter Lawwell [Celtic chief ex­ec­u­tive].

“I spoke to Thomas about his sit­u­a­tion at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son. I put him in the pic­ture about what would be hap­pen­ing in the fu­ture.”

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