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Mar 19 2008 By David McCarthy

GORDON STRACHAN last night refused to shoulder the blame for Celtic’s shock Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Aberdeen at Parkhead.

The Hoops boss said he could have done no more with his misfiring side after seeing them blow a host of chances – then lose a goal to Darren Mackie 20 minutes from the end.

That sent the Dons into a semi-final clash with Queen of the South – and led to Celtic being booed off the pitch by their disgruntled support at the end of a quarter-final replay they had dominated.

Strachan said he couldn’t believe his side had lost – but challenged his players to use the defeat as motivation to go on and win the SPL. And he was adamant he could not have made his team play any better against the Dons, who were restricted to just two chances but took one of them.

He said: “As a manager you can set your team up to make sure your team doesn’t lose many chances – and we didn’t. The next bit is to create chances and we did t ... Read more »

Category: Scottish Cup | Views: 956 | Added by: cfc_mikee_cfc | Date: 19-Mar-2008 | Comments (0)

Scott Brown
Brown believes Celtic's season is far from over
Scott Brown insists he is confident Celtic can salvage their season by retaining the Scottish Premier League.

Despite trailing Rangers in second spot, the Scotland midfielder says the destination of the title remains in their hands.

"If we win every game, we win the league," Brown told the Celtic View.

"I know that sounds simple, but we're determined to finish with a bang and make sure it's us who are celebrating at the end of the season."

Darren Mackie's goal for Aberdeen at Celtic Park on Tuesday night dumped the holders out of the Scottish Cup.

And manager Gordon Strachan's attempts to gain ground on table-toppers Rangers suffered a blow with a draw against Dundee United in their last league match.

That leaves Celtic three points adrift of Rangers, who also have a game in hand.

However, Brown believes the three remaining matches against the Ibrox side will prove pivotal to the desti ... Read more »

Category: SPL News | Views: 779 | Added by: cfc_mikee_cfc | Date: 19-Mar-2008 | Comments (0)

Rangers striker Jean-Claude Darcheville may not be risked in the Scottish Cup quarter-final against Partick Thistle as he recovers from a hamstring strain.

Barry Ferguson will be missing with an ankle injury but Nacho Novo, Charlie Adam and Steven Naismith return after being ineligible for the CIS Cup final.

First Division Partick Thistle will again be without striker Liam Buchanan, who is recovering from a groin injury.

But on-loan Damon Gray has been given permission to play by Hibs.

Rangers won the CIS Insurance Cup on Sunday and, with a hectic league and Uefa Cup schedule ahead, some fringe players may be given a chance.

"I would think there might be one or two changes from the weekend," said assistant manager Ally McCoist.

"The last two games have taken an enormous amount out of the lads who played.

"Having said that, it's a game that we must win. The most important thing these days is having squads - not teams - who are capable of handling a lot of gam ... Read more »

Category: Scottish Cup | Views: 1084 | Added by: cfc_mikee_cfc | Date: 19-Mar-2008 | Comments (0)

Darren Mackie was the goal-hero for Aberdeen
Mackie was the goal hero for a stubborn Aberdeen side
Aberdeen bundled Scottish Cup holders Celtic out of the tournament thanks to Darren Mackie's second-half strike.

Celtic laid siege to the visitors' goal in the first half but strikers Scott McDonald and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink wasted good opportunities.

And in a rare Aberdeen attack, Mackie slammed in a smart 69th-minute finish.

Celtic poured forward in the closing stages but it is the Dons who will now meet First Division Queen of the South in the semi-finals.

Aberdeen had been denied by a last-minute goal in the first tie but turned in a stubborn defensive display to make the most of the replay.

Celtic started strongly and midfielder Massimo Donati drove over from 30 yards with less than a minute gone.

Moments later, Vennegoor of Hesselink headed a Lee Naylor cross over the crossbar from eight yards after good work from Aiden McGeady on the left ... Read more »

Category: Scottish Cup | Views: 1053 | Added by: cfc_mikee_cfc | Date: 19-Mar-2008 | Comments (1)