Strachan counts the cost of transfer market

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The Independent Football

The Celtic manager, Gordon Strachan, has voiced his frustration at being unable to compete with Championship clubs in the transfer market.

Celtic have added Gary Caldwell, Kenny Miller, Jiri Jarosik, Derek Riordan and Evander Sno to the squad but have missed out on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Diego Tristan. Strachan has urged fans to remain patient as he attempts to strengthen his squad.

"We live in a budget world that is not even a Championship world," he said. "A lot of the fans know it because they are intelligent people, but there are one or two not intelligent enough to pick it up and they are the ones who cause most bother.

"What the fans would like to see is more 'guaranteed' players. Tottenham have paid £11m for [Dimitar] Berbatov, Manchester United pay £18.5m for [Michael] Carrick. Cameron Jerome costs £3.5m from Cardiff to Birmingham. That's in the Championship. Where do we go? It gets harder and harder to find something.

"I knew what it was going to be. Gary McSheffrey is rated at £3.5m at Coventry. It's frustrating but I just have to deal with it. I speak to Gus MacPherson and John Hughes [St Mirren and Falkirk managers respectively]. We all think we have budget problems. We just get on with it."

But Strachan accepts the situation and enjoys a healthy relationship with the Celtic chief executive, Peter Lawwell. "I deal with Peter and it has been fine," the Scot said. "I know his problems and what he is trying to do - make the club self-sufficient - which it wasn't for a long time. I'm fine. I understand his job - he understands mine."