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‘EFE LACKS AWARENESS,’ STRACHAN

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GORDON STRACHAN believes you just cannot compare Efe Ambrose with £13million man Virgil van Dijk.

The gaffe-prone Nigerian made two horrendous errors to assist Fenerbahce in their fightback to force a 2-2 draw in the Europa League qualifier at Parkhead.

Scotland boss Strachan thought the first blunder was a “genuine mistake”, but blamed Ambrose for not being aware at the second which came from a left-wing corner-kick.

He said: “Forwards make mistakes and no-one looks back at them. It’s different for defenders.

“At the second goal, Efe is in his zonal area and he doesn’t look at the flight of the ball. He decides at the last minute: ‘I’ll try to block Fernandao.’ He didn’t do either.

“He made bad decisions and they cost Celtic.

“Virgil van Dijk seemed to know where the ball was going because he could read it.

“Some defenders don’t read it as well as others and I don’t think Efe picked up the flight of the ball well enough.”

Strachan, though, saluted his former team for their battling qualities against Robin van Persie and Co.

He added: “Celtic don’t have the technique of some of the top teams and they’ve got to work harder.

“The first goal was a great delivery from Kris Commons and Leigh Griffiths took it well. At that stage it was absolutely great for Celtic.

“And James Forrest was terrific at the second goal, taking on defenders with his pace and ability.

“Commons was always going to get into the right place to finish. Forrest and Commons were top players for Celtic in the first-half.

“After such a good start, they got over the fact they were drawing and in the last 25 minutes they were the better side.

“With 15 minutes to go, I think Fenerbahce believed a draw was good enough.

“Celtic stepped on the gas and did very well, but just couldn’t get that third goal.”

 
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