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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League about an hour ago
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By ESPN Staff
Nov 18, 2006

Strachan eyes Champions League win over United

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan admits Manchester United have better players than he does - but he will not countenance any thoughts of defeat ahead of their Champions League clash next Tuesday.

The Hoops are second in Group F behind Sir Alex Ferguson's men, two points ahead of Benfica and Copenhagen, with games against the Red Devils at home and the Danish side away still to come.

The Old Trafford meeting earlier in the section ended in a 3-2 win for the home side who are favourites to complete the double against the Hoops at Celtic Park next week.

Strachan, looking forward to the visit of Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Bank of Scotland Premier League, was honest when comparing the two sides.

However, the Hoops boss is in no mood to accept the result is a foregone conclusion.

He said: 'I won't be put out if anybody says United have got better players than Celtic.

'I accept that and I'm the Celtic manager. All of the managers in the Premiership would probably have to accept that fact.

'What I won't accept is that we can't beat them at Celtic Park on Tuesday. There has to be a feeling that we can win the game.

'You might scare yourself if you looked at too many videos of United in action. There has to be respect for what they've got at their disposal. But we have got to stand up to them.'

Celtic defender Gary Caldwell will not dwell on his recent Lisbon nightmare as he contemplates facing up to the Old Trafford side on Tuesday night.

The Scotland defender was at fault for two goals in the Hoops' 3-0 defeat by Benfica at the Stadium of Light which has left the qualification hopes of the Parkhead men in doubt.

But Caldwell said: 'You can carry things around in your head for too long. You've got to let go and remember that better players than me have made costly errors.

'Tuesday night isn't about atonement for me, it's about mentality and having the strength of mind to grow as a person and as a player.'

Caldwell joked: 'I made my first mistake look good compared to the second mistake. But the game gives you good times and bad times and it's how you handle the latter that's important.

'I came back from Portugal and Hearts really tested me in our next SPL game, but we survived that examination and extended our lead in the championship.

'What I'd like now is our first clean sheet in the league since October 1, when we beat Falkirk away from home.'