Strachan: Rangers run good for the game

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan is happy to take a broader and longer-term view of Rangers’ success in reaching the UEFA Cup final.

Manchester is bracing itself for an invasion from Scotland for the May 14 showpiece after Walter Smith’s side won a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Fiorentina in Florence on Thursday night.

The Light Blues, who will appear in their first European final in 36 years, face Dick Advocaat’s Zenit St Petersburg at the City of Manchester Stadium.

But Strachan put aside traditional Glasgow rivalries to consider the effect of the Ibrox club’s success on Scottish football.

“It is a fantastic achievement,” the Hoops boss said.

“It’s good for Scottish football, the profile is higher and it helps us to get further up the UEFA rankings.

“I know Walter well and he is a friend.

“If we can’t beat them in a competition then there is nothing we can do about it.

“We weren’t in that competition and they have been very successful.

“But I am only happy for the coaching staff and the players – get that right - because I know how much hard work they have had to put in to get to this stage and they really should be proud of themselves.”

Rangers’ success means the Clydesdale Bank Premier League season has been extended by four days to allow the Light Blues time to complete all their fixtures.

Consequently, Celtic will have to wait 11 days between their penultimate game against Hibernian at Easter Road on May 11 and their final match against Dundee United at Tannadice.

But Strachan insists that lay-off will not pose a problem for his players.

He said: “We can deal with that.

“We will still have plenty of ways to fill our time.”

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