Strachan claims Scottish media are 'serial killers'

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The Independent Online

Celtic's Gordon Strachan compared the Scottish media to serial killers yesterday in a roundabout attempt to deflect questions about two players who have expressed dissatisfaction about not being involved this season.

The striker Derek Riordan and the defender Bobo Baldé have both been quoted as being unhappy. But it was reports about a Rangers player, David Weir, that Strachan chose to focus on. Strachan spoke in general terms a week ago about Weir's experience and this, not unusually, led to headlines along the line "Strachan wants Weir".

Strachan said yesterday he had not read about Riordan and Baldé "because I am past that stage now [of reading newspapers]." He added: "Last week I was told of the headline that I wished I had David Weir. No way at any time did I say that I wished I had David Weir.

"You people sometimes are like those serial killers you see in films who send out these horrible messages. The serial killer who cuts out the words 'I am going to get you' or 'Your wife is next'. You are the very same."

Strachan rebutted suggestions that his team have been less entertaining this season. "We have scored 32 goals in the league up until now [in 11 games] and if you go that way, then you could end up scoring 109 goals for the season."

Celtic, three points clear of Rangers, travel to Kilmarnock this afternoon, while Rangers host Inverness. Rangers' manager, Walter Smith also had to defend his side's style yesterday after recent criticism of "dull, route-one" tactics and "anti-football". He replied: "At Rangers it's quite simple – we have to win the game."

The weekend's most fraught match is tomorrow, when a home win for Hibernian over Hearts would put them 10 points clear of their Edinburgh rivals.