GAVIN STRACHAN has picked up the gauntlet as he prepares for his first season as Celtic’s first team coach.
The son of former Hoops boss Gordon has been in the post just under a fortnight after taking over from Damien Duff who quit for family reasons to return to the Republic of Ireland where he will be No.2 to Stephen Kenny in the international set-up.
Strachan, speaking to the club website, admitted: “What I’ve seen is that there’s such a culture here of winning and that’s ingrained into the players.
“It seems to me that they deal with that pressure really well and, from my point of view, it’s a challenge you can either shy away from or you can embrace it, so I’ve gone for the latter.
“The more I get to know the players, the more I get to know what makes them tick. There’s a fantastic nucleus to the squad.
“Within it, there’s ability, work-rate, determination, team work, and even working with Moi Elyounoussi over the past few days, you can see that he’s really bought in to the culture of what we’re trying to do here. He’s another fantastic edition.”
Strachan left as Darren Ferguson’s assistant manager at Peterborough United to take up his role with the nine-in-a-row champions.
He added: “Everyone has made me feel so welcome – the players and the staff. They’ve integrated me really well at this stage, the way we’ve been working, I feel really comfortable and I feel that I’ve been here a lot longer than I actually have.
“I loved it at Peterborough. I think if a Championship club had come in for me, I loved my work at Peterborough so much I don’t think I would have gone.
“But it’s just the size of Celtic and having been here on some special nights and knowing what it means to people, the opportunity to come and work at a club like this doesn’t come around often and I’d be kicking myself for the rest of my career if I didn’t have a go at it.
“I was here the night Shunsuke Nakamura scored the free-kick against Manchester United. I was up in the stand for that, but the opportunity and the chance to maybe being down on the bench when stuff like that is going on is really exciting and a massive motivation.”
Strachan has hit the ground running as he works alongside Neil Lennon and No.2 John Kennedy to get the players ready for the Premiership’s scheduled kick off on Saturday, August 1.