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By ESPN Staff
Apr 1, 2008

Burley slams fans trying to hound out Strachan

Scotland manager George Burley claims it is 'ridiculous' for some Celtic fans to call for the head of boss Gordon Strachan.

The Hoops manager is under pressure, after the 1-0 defeat against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday left the champions six points behind the Light Blues - who also have a game in hand.

Despite Strachan winning the Scottish Premier League title twice in succession after taking over from Martin O'Neill, and taking the champions into the last 16 of the Champions League two seasons in a row, many supporters refuse to cut the former Coventry and Southampton boss any slack.

But Burley cannot understand those Celtic fans who would like to see Strachan out of the Parkhead door.

'It's ridiculous,' he said. 'I think people tend to forget what Gordon Strachan has achieved at Celtic. The success he's had has been unbelievable, and there's still everything to play for in the league.

His record in Europe - they lost to Barcelona only in the last 16 of the Champions League - is also to Strachan's credit.

'Rangers have got a chance of winning four honours - which is fantastic,' Burley added. 'But Walter Smith has already said there's nothing decided yet in the league, with two games still to be played at Parkhead.

'The league is going to go right to the end of the season. I've been to a lot of games this season, and Celtic have played some tremendous football.

'I was at the Aberdeen game at Parkhead and at the game at Ibrox on Saturday, and they didn't take their chances.

'If you don't take the opportunities which come for you it can backfire - and that's maybe happened the last few weeks.'

Burley was at Hampden to launch the Royal Mail PFA Scotland award for Scotland's Manager of The Year 2008, won last year by Strachan.

Managers from across the four divisions in Scotland will have a vote, and Burley admits the quality of candidates will make it a tough choice.

He said: 'The SPL has numerous quality managers, and there are a number or them who have had terrific seasons. Celtic had an excellent run, just losing out to Barcelona.

'All credit to Gordon Strachan for playing attacking football against them. Aberdeen, under Jimmy Calderwood, also did really well. Rangers and Walter Smith are still in the running for four honours, so that is tremendous.'

Dundee United's Craig Levein, Motherwell's Mark McGhee and Hibs' Mixu Paatelainen also earned Burley's praise.