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9:54:57 AM
Strachan looks to Old Firm test
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan turned his attention to next week's Old Firm encounter after beating Gretna 3-0.

"Once we scored we were reasonably comfortable," he told BBC Sport. "But we played a lot better in the previous two games without getting the breaks.

"I'm really looking forward to it," he said when asked about the forthcoming visit to Ibrox.

"These games are a mental and physical test. If you are not prepared they will chew you up and spit you out."

Rangers have a three point lead over Celtic and have played a game less.

Celtic ended a run of four games without a win at Almondvale but Strachan pointed out the excellent league form of both sides.

"Their form has been exceptional - they've won their last 12 games," said the manager.

"In our last 11, we've won 10 and drawn one."

Rangers face a pile-up of games due to their continued involvement in the Uefa Cup, Scottish Cup and two outstanding SPL matches.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has said any extension to the season would "threaten the integrity" of the competition.

When asked about Lawwell's comments, his opposite number at Rangers, Martin Bain, said: "It's probably more to do with the fact that there is a points difference at the moment."

Strachan would not be drawn on either comment but said: "In 1983 at Aberdeen, Willie Miller and Alex McLeish played about 73 games and I don't think we extended the league.

"We got a good season out of it so we would advocate just getting on with it."

Georgios Samaras once again came off the bench to net for Celtic but, with Scott McDonald and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink also on target, the Greek may be left among the substitutes at Ibrox.

"He's had a few starts but I have to be fair to the rest of the players," said Strachan.

"I can't forget all the good work Scott and Jan have done this season, although I imagine there will be a time when Georgios gets his chance."

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