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Strachan frustrated Celtic didn’t impose themselves on Livingston

The Celtic coach said that successfully defending the title would be "very, very tough".

Strachan frustrated Celtic didn’t impose themselves on Livingston SNS Group

Gavin Strachan believes Celtic should have shown more in their 0-0 draw with Livingston and failed to impose themselves on the opposition.

Strachan was the main man in the dugout for the second time as manager Neil Lennon and John Kennedy continued to self-isolate. The duo, one other member of staff and 13 players were identified as close contacts of Christopher Jullien, who tested positive for Covid-19 after the club’s trainign camp in Dubai.

Though missing key players, Celtic’s starting XI still contained a number of experienced internationals. They came up against an in-form Livingston team but Strachan still felt they should have done more on home soil.

“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 again the big frustration for me is that we didn’t impose our style of play on the game.

“There was a couple of decent performances but probably not so much standout ones.

“The driving force was Callum McGregor. I thought Tom Rogic acquitted himself well today in a completely unfamiliar role as a number nine.

“Tony Ralston came in, he has not really kicked a ball all season. Tony is a very honest and good professional and he gave his all but he tired towards the end.

“It was a tough game, we knew it was going to be. They imposed their way of playing on us more than we did on them.”

For Livingston manager David Martindale, the match was the first he had failed to win since succeeding Gary Holt, having arrived in Glasgow on the back of an eight-game winning run. He felt his side had a chance to pull off a win but will now prepare to face the same opposition at Almondvale in midweek.

“We’ve been here and got a draw before but potentially we had a fantastic opportunity to get three points today,” he said.

“I’ll try not to dwell on the negatives. We’ve come to Celtic Park and got a point, we’re still unbeaten and we got a clean sheet.

“I need to watch what I’m saying because we play them again on Wednesday – Lenny will use this in his team talk!

“I thought Celtic had some good chances as well and were a wee bit unlucky.

“But on the balance of play and opportunities created, we were more unfortunate not to get three points.

“No one really dominated the game. On reflection, I’m a bit disappointed but not surprised because this was still a very good Celtic team.

“Hopefully we can make it even more difficult for them on Wednesday.”