Celtic’s Fitness Could Be The Difference, Says Gordon Strachan

Former Celtic and Scotland Manager Gordon Strachan feels that the superior fitness of Celtic’s players could be the difference in this weekend’s Scottish Cup Semi Final clash against theRangers.

Strachan said as reported by Scottish Sun: “There’s plenty of talented players (at Rangers) but do they have the fitness level and the attitude that the team comes first if they don’t play for 90 minutes? That’s the criteria to play for Celtic, so that might be a problem for some (Rangers) players.”

Japanese footballer Koki Mizuno (L) attends a press conference with Celtic manager Gordon Strachan at Celtic Park on 1 February 2008.  (Photo BRIAN STEWART/AFP via Getty Images)

Celtic have scored a number of goals in the last 15 minutes of matches season, many which proved to be vital. The speed of Ange Postecoglou’s team’s play, and the required fitness to accompany that, has given the Hoops a notable advantage against domestic opposition.

Strachan continued: “I watched the League Cup Final myself and it was very close like most people thought. But what happened after about 38 minutes was Rangers’ fitness levels went, which allowed Celtic to dominate the last 10 minutes of the half. That shows how important fitness is.

“That’s the test for anyone that plays against Celtic. If you’re not super fit you’ll run out of energy and if you do close them down and win the ball comes back, do you have the energy to play again?

13.06.2015. Dublin, Ireland. Euro2016 Qualifying. Republic of Ireland versus Scotland. Scotland head coach Gordon Strachan looks on with Rep. of Ireland head coach Martin O’Neill in the background. Photo Paul Walsh

“That’s what the Celtic players can do. That’s what the top teams like Manchester City do.”

Ange has certainly built a relentless team, who work at maximum pace both in and out of possession. Hopefully, their quality alone will be enough to see the team advance to the cup final, but if not their fitness levels could be an advantageous factor.

Ultimately, all that matters is getting the result however it comes and whatever gets Celtic to that point.

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About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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