Gordon Strachan backs Celtic in Legia Warsaw row

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan
Strachan was speaking as a third intake of youngsters were welcomed into the Scottish FA's Performance Schools system

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan was unimpressed by Legia Warsaw's attempt to persuade Celtic to give up their Champions League spot.

The Polish side won the qualifying tie 6-1 on aggregate but fielded an ineligible player in the second leg.

They then published an open letter to Celtic urging them to consider standing down on sporting grounds.

"Every sport has its rules and you have to stick by them," said former Celtic boss Strachan.

"It's the same in golf. If it's a windy day and the ball moves or oscillates as you're addressing it, that's a penalty.

"Most of us have all been hit by these rules somewhere along the line."

Friday's draw went ahead with Celtic paired against Maribor in the Champions League play-off while Legia dropped into the Europa League.

Uefa have now formally sent Legia a written explanation for the decision to award Celtic a 3-0 walkover win in the second leg and the Polish champions will have three days to lodge an appeal with the governing body.

Strachan famously suffered a 5-0 defeat to Artmedia Bratislava in his first match as Celtic boss in July 2007 but went on to become the first Parkhead manager since Jock Stein to win three Scottish titles in a row.

And now he is backing new manager Ronny Deila to recover from a woeful opening and make the most of this reprieve.

"I'm still looking at the team-sheet to see how many of the team in Bratislava are ineligible," he joked.

"I will need to get (chief executive) Peter Lawwell to go over that just in case I'm due a bonus for getting through to the next round.

"But getting over a bad result like that can be done. Lenny [Neil Lennon] had a poor start and I did as well. These things are sent to test you.

"Everyone in football will have their character tested but we wish Ronny the best of luck."

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