Strachan is focused on breaking away-day jinx

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The Independent Football

Gordon Strachan is concentrating on achieving Celtic's first away win in the Champions League when they play Aalborg tonight – while forgetting the favour needed from Manchester United at Villarreal.

Celtic have taken just one point from a possible 51 in their Champions League group-phase matches away from Parkhead. The Scottish champions will be knocked out of the competition if they fail to win against Aalborg, who are tied with Celtic on two points at the bottom of the Group E table.

However, even a historic victory is no guarantee of a last-16 spot. United have to win at Villarreal in the group's other match, which would then leave the Hoops looking for a win over the Spanish club at Parkhead.

Celtic's manager, however, will not be keeping one eye on the result in Villarreal. "We will just get through the game and see what happens," Strachan said yesterday. "We do that all the time. You are talking to a man who didn't realise we had qualified for the last 16 [two seasons ago] when we beat Manchester United, so that says it all. It's a game in which Aalborg can get a home win and Celtic can get an away win. Both are capable of winning.

"I watched the tape of Aalborg against Villarreal, they gave them a good game. They're a good side who are playing well. We try and attack everywhere we go, so it'll be no different."

Strachan bristled at one Danish reporter who asked why Celtic had not won away from home in Europe's premier club competition. He said: "The other teams have scored more goals than us and we haven't scored enough. It's quite simple really. I'm sorry I can't give you a wonderful answer."

A scoring draw or better would guarantee Celtic a place in the Uefa Cup.