Strachan has no regrets about Pittodrie behaviour
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.”