Derek Riordan blames Gordon Strachan for Celtic failure

Riordan spent two frustrated seasons at Celtic Park. Picture: Robert Perry

Riordan spent two frustrated seasons at Celtic Park. Picture: Robert Perry

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Derek Riordan has blamed Scotland boss Gordon Strachan for the striker’s disappointing spell at Celtic in the mid-00s.

The player left boyhood heroes Hibernian to join Strachan’s squad at Celtic Park in 2006. He won three trophies including two Scottish Premier League titles across his two seasons in Glasgow, though he was restricted to only 31 appearances in that time.

Celtic fans would often clamour for Riordan to be given more game time, particularly during his first season where he netted a respectable seven goals in 21 appearances, but Strachan would often resist the temptation to play him.

In an interview with the Daily Record, the 32-year-old claimed this was down to a falling out with Strachan.

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“Strachan was what went wrong at Celtic,” said Riordan. “We just didn’t get on. He made me train on my own.

“There was a story in the paper about me that he didn’t like and that was it after that. I fell out with the one man that mattered most at Celtic, the manager. If you’re not part of the manager’s plans there’s not a lot you can do.

“I wanted my career to take off at Parkhead. I had the choice of all sorts of clubs but I chose Celtic. I couldn’t have picked a bigger and better club.

“The fans were great and they wanted to see a lot more of me.”

It eventually led to Riordan’s return to Hibernian in 2008, where he began scoring regularly once more.

He added: “Eventually I went back to Hibs and I did well, banged in a few goals again, it felt great.

“I could have stayed at Hibs because I had another year on my deal. I got offered a contract for less than I was on so it wasn’t for me.”

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