Celtic stand-in Gavin Strachan almost concedes title to Rangers after dismal draw

Celtic’s stand-in manager Gavin Strachan as good as admitted the title was a lost cause following a lifeless goaless draw with Livingston.

Celtic stand-in manager Gavin Strachan as good as acknowledged the club are now down and out in title race. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The result means Rangers can now extended their mammoth Premiership lead to 23-point should they win at Motherwell on Sunday. In that scenario, the Scottish champions’ three games in hand would be rendered irrelevant.

Strachan, acting for Neil Lennon as he completed his isolation period along with John Kennedy and 13 players following Christopher Jullien’s posted Covid-19 test on the club’s return for their ill-fated Dubai trip, as good as accepted the club’s 10-in-a-row quest is no more.

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"It is very very difficult,” said a man placed in an impossible position for the home draws with Hibs and Livingston this week. "In a normal football season I would say to you that it's going to be very, very tough but the way the world is just now you just never know."

The covid-related absentee list Strachan accepted could not be an excuse for the sluggish showing against a contrastingly energised and in-form visiting team. Not when the side selected contained six full internationals, four under-21s and as made up of eight regulars.

"Obviously the situation isn't ideal but we still had more than enough that we could display a better performance than we did,” he said. "There was certainly a lack of match fitness of certain players which probably means they are not as sharp as what you would like them to be But the big frustration for me is that we didn't impose our style of play on the game.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game. Livingston have been playing really well [with eight straight wins going into it], their style of play they have been doing really well with, it was tough. They imposed their way of playing on us more than we did on them. There were moments when Livingston's left-back was trotting over to the other side of the pitch to take the throw in so their style of play can break things up a little bit. But it is spot on to say we couldn't really get the momentum and tempo we wanted."

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