Gavin Strachan reveals Celtic reasoning behind Christopher Jullien joining Dubai contingent as he admits “only regrets”


Alternate boss Gavin Strachan insists Celtic’s only regret for his ill-fated trip to Dubai was Christopher Jullien for catching a covid.
The Hoops lost more points to the Hibs on Monday night after the team were decimated by the positive test result upon their return to Scotland.

The injured Frenchman caught the virus, but 13 players and three coaches – including boss Neil Lennon – have all been ordered to self-isolate after being reported by NHS contract tracing.

Heavy hitters such as Odsonne Edouard, Scott Brown and Ryan Christie were among those who missed the game as Celtic got caught in the stoppage time when Kevin Nisbet canceled David Turnbull’s late free kick.

Hoops title hopes are in tatters with Rangers 21 points ahead – and the Covid chaos has only added to the rage among supporters.

Strachan insisted the trip to Dubai was over the edge – and an injured Jullien traveled because he needed to continue his treatment.

He said: “It is unfortunate that one person caught the virus, but there is no regret about the clearance we got and the protocols we followed, which we did. all season.

“It is unfortunate that we got a positive result, which we could have had at any time.

“It’s a trip that has been done over the last few years and has yielded very positive results, so the thinking behind that was to keep that up and try to galvanize and push into the second half of the season.

“For me as a coach the job we did there was absolutely fantastic.

“We had more time to work on some parts of our game because of the good weather.

“The only unfortunate thing is that someone came back with a positive test. ”

Jullien faces four months but has traveled anyway, but Strachan said: “It was to keep his treatment with the backstage staff, he went there so we could get him back as fast as possible.

The reasoning is not going to please Parkhead punters who watched their 10 In A Row dream fall apart.

Strachan – who came on 11 years after his father Gordon left – said: “I can understand everyone’s frustration as we end up playing with a weaker team, but it could have happened if we practiced the house too.

“There are a lot of teams across the country, and in England too, that are suffering from this.

“We’re on multiple coaches here as well, and everything we planned to do was passed in advance, so we just continued with our same protocols.

“Obviously the situation changed when we were out regarding the new variant, so I think that made it worse.

Strachan – who confirmed Shane Duffy was back after posting a second negative test – admitted his head had turned after a chaotic return from the Middle East.

He said: “For me it’s been a bit of a whirlwind – but you just have to do your preparation and everyone at the club has been very supportive.

“We all got down on our knees, we came together to try to get the three points. It’s just frustrating that you can’t do it.

“It’s difficult to face. The players put a lot into the game. I thought we won it with a moment of magic but it’s a frustrating time to concede and the way of the goal is hard to take.

“When you take into account the disruption we’ve been through over the past few days, I found the performance to be very good.

“There was a lot of energy in it. Lots of effort you’d expect and there were some good quality moments.

Strahan let himself be thrown at the youngsters, but he revealed that Alexander Okoflex getting caught on headphones while exiting the bench was actually a pep talk from Neil Lennon, linked to the house.

He said, “He almost forgot to take it off! But yes, for a young player continuing his full debut, hearing the manager’s voice in his ear was a nice touch.

“Neil said we invested so much in the game, he thought we cut it, and then we just couldn’t see the game come out, which was very frustrating.


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