Celtic ignore Boruc row in quest to end nightmare on the road to look for Stadium of Light

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The Independent Online

Celtic are ignoring the furore surrounding their goalkeeper Artur Boruc to concentrate on their Champions League game against Benfica at the Stadium of Light tonight.

The Poland international refused to shake hands with the Rangers captain, Barry Ferguson, Lee McCulloch and Davie Weir after Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Ibrox. Boruc reportedly explained his conduct saying: "Why should I shake hands with any player? Do I have to? I don't have to like anybody – and I don't. I don't like them, I don't like the club and I don't like the players – end of story. They were provoking me throughout the game. They were teasing me and they were trying to hurt me."

The Parkhead club refused to comment but it is understood that the manager, Gordon Strachan, may consider the matter after the Group D game against Benfica, who are at the bottom of the table with no points from two games.

The Scottish champions are still looking for their first away win in the tournament after 15 unsuccessful attempts but Strachan insists he will not jeopardise the health of Stephen McManus, who was knocked out against Rangers on Saturday, in their quest to arrest their poor form on the road in Europe. McManus trained alone yesterday morning but will be given every chance by Strachan to prove his fitness for the game.

Strachan, who is trying to rally his players after the defeat at Ibrox, welcomed the return to his squad of the midfielder Paul Hartley who came off against Gretna just over a fortnight ago with a hamstring injury.

Celtic (provisional squad): Boruc, O'Dea, Caldwell, McManus, Kennedy, Naylor, Nakamura, McGeady, Donati, S Brown, Sno, Jarosik, McDonald, M Brown, Riordan, O'Brien, Hartley, Baldé.

Group D

Results: Milan 2 Benfica 1; Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Celtic 0; Benfica 0 Shakhtar Donetsk 1; Celtic 2 Milan 1.

Remaining fixtures:

Tonight: Benfica v Celtic; Milan v Shakhtar Donetsk. 6 November: Celtic v Benfica; Shakhtar Donetsk v Milan. 28 November: Benfica v Milan; Celtic v Shakhtar Donetsk. 4 December: Milan v Celtic; Shakhtar Donetsk v Benfica.

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