Strachan under pressure

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan arrived at Fir Park as a man under pressure following his nightmare midweek debut as Martin O’Neill’s successor.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan arrived at Fir Park as a man under pressure following his nightmare midweek debut as Martin O’Neill’s successor.

The 5-0 defeat to Artmedia Bratislava was the worst in the Hoops’ European history and none of Strachan’s new signings had impressed.

The same also applied to the players he had inherited from O’Neill – and they all had bad memories of their last trip to this ground.

That was the final day of last season when Well striker Scott McDonald scored two late goals to win the game and hand the title to Rangers.

The new Bank of Scotland Premier League season was began with all eyes on the Hoops and it was no surprise that Strachan made changes.

The cheekbone Chris Sutton fractured in Slovakia meant he was an enforced change but Bobo Balde and Maciej Zurawski were dropped, with the Pole not even making the bench.

In came youngsters Shaun Maloney, Aiden McGeady and Stephen McManus.

Well kicked off their season without forwards Richie Foran and David Clarkson, who were suspended, and the injured Martyn Corrigan but McDonald shrugged off fitness concerns to start.

Motherwell: Marshall, Paul Quinn, Kinniburgh, Craigan, Hammell, McCormack, Leitch, O’Donnell, Paterson, McDonald, Hamilton. Subs: Kerr, Graeme Smith, Wright, Fagan, Keogh, Fitzpatrick, Darren Lee Smith.

Celtic: Marshall, Telfer, Varga, McManus, Camara, McGeady, Lennon, Petrov, Thompson, Maloney, Hartson. Subs: Boruc, Balde, Aliadiere, Wallace, Lawson, Beattie, Gardyne.

Referee: M McCurry (Scotland)

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