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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct, 4, 2008

Strachan "satisfied" with 4-0 win despite injury worry

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan admits his side's comprehensive 4-0 win over Hamilton at Parkhead was spoiled only by the first-minute injury to striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.

The Holland international had to be replaced by top scorer Georgios Samaras after clashing with Accies defender Brian Easton with the game only seconds old.

On the face of it, the loss of Vennegoor of Hesselink made little difference to the outcome as the home side responded to their Champions League defeat to Villarreal in midweek by cruising to the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League table on goal difference over rivals Rangers.

Goals from Shunsuke Nakamura and Samaras gave the home side a half-time lead.

Scott McDonald grabbed number three in the 75th minute and Aiden McGeady slid in the fourth to complete the visitors' misery.

In between the third and fourth goal, Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc made a fine penalty save from James McArthur, as well as the header from the Accies midfielder who had followed in the rebound.

But Strachan could not hide his disappointment at the injury to his Dutch striker who could be out for a number of weeks.

He said: ''It is an abductor muscle injury, so that's not good news. That's the only downside to the day to be honest. I don't know how long he will be out. In terms of Jan's injury, it doesn't help me that I can bring our top scorer off the bench.

''He had been carrying a wee injury but it was something completely different. He doesn't know yet what happened. I thought it was his knee at first so I'm happy that it wasn't that.''

Strachan declared himself ''more than satisfied'' with his side's performance against the SPL new boys.

''I am absolutely delighted. The attitude pleased me. It could have been a problem,'' he added.

''It was windy, wet, we had just played a European tie and had been on the plane for a long time. To start the way we did with energy and taking it from there, that pleased me. All the players were terrific.''

Strachan explained why Barry Robson came in at left-back for Lee Naylor, a decision which caused a few eyebrows to be raised when the teams were read out.

He said: ''We knew we had to get our attitude right so we thought, 'where do we get Barry in?' Unfortunately for Lee, he got injured on Friday so he made it easy for me.''

Celtic defender Mark Wilson admitted it was a good day at the office after losing to Villarreal in midweek.

''I think that was what we needed after the other night,'' the Hoops right-back said. ''There was always the danger of coming into games after the Champions League with tired legs and tired minds. But we pressed them high up the pitch and didn't allow them to give us any problems.''

Accies boss Billy Reid admits the penalty miss characterised the performance of McArthur, who rushed away from Celtic Park to celebrate his 21st birthday in a Glasgow nightclub.

''I think it summed up James McArthur's day,'' Reid said. ''He was young player of the month in the first month of the season and he is gutted now. It was probably the worst game he has ever played for me at Accies.

''And he missed a penalty as well. That happens in football and he has to pick himself up. He has a good future ahead of him.''

Reid added: ''If I'm being honest it could have been more than 4-0. I don't think we did ourselves justice. There are three or four players down in the dressing room who are gutted because they are much better players than they showed.

''It was a huge learning curve for us. We were used to winning in the First Division but this was a big, big jump for us.''

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