The Celtic FC manager Gordon Strachan was relieved to get out alive after his injury-hit charges held Manchester United FC to a 1-1 draw in Glasgow, despite being "a million times better" than the Scottish hosts.
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The Celtic FC manager Gordon Strachan was relieved to get out alive after his injury-hit charges held Manchester United FC to a 1-1 draw in Glasgow, despite being "a million times better" than the Scottish hosts. Sir Alex Ferguson had "no complaints" either, as United moved to the brink of the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.
Gordon Strachan, Celtic manager
I tried to deal with players that were tired – I really could have made about eleven subs after about an hour and I had to look at them and say 'well, who is more tired?' I tried to keep Scott McDonald, our most experienced striker on, but that wasn't possible so I had to go with my seventh-choice striker [Ben Hutchinson] and play three centre-backs. So we had to do a lot of chopping and changing, but with just a wee bit of luck it could have been an incredible upset. I haven't got a clue where it leaves us in the group.
I'm happy with 1-1, I am happy we had a good game and I am happy against a side who are a million times better than us technically. Whatever we are, we are men. You cannot play like that if you are not men. My players enjoyed themselves and they performed physically to a maximum. At least we got out alive, we got out of here with pride. Trust me if we had our full team, it would have been a far better game. In my dressing room just now, I have players who cannot speak. That's how tired they are. The stadium was rocking. It's the best in Europe.
Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager
The last time we were here they scored a great goal through Shunsuke Nakamura and they scored another great goal tonight. In fairness to us, we kept persevering, particularly in the second half. Obviously, we would have preferred to have three points but with a couple of minutes to go you think you are going to lose it. You keep thinking it is never going to be your night. So it was a good result for us and credit to my players because we kept it going. We spoke before the game about trying to quiet their crowd down but they had a fantastic support and they kept their team going, gave them that energy to keep working. That's what Celtic were tonight – a very, very industrious team who were not easy to break down.
You have to do your best against a team with a support like that and we did that. Bringing Dimitar Berbatov on gave Celtic a problem because the positions he takes up are very difficult to pinpoint. But it proves the character of the team because they knew they needed to produce something in the second half and they did. But that's us qualified now so no complaints. We want to win the group.