Strachan reveals target
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gordon Strachan expects to have done the majority of business before the World Cup.
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan expects to have done the majority of his transfer window dealing before the World Cup kicks off at the beginning of June.
The Scot is conscious of avoiding a similar scenario to last season when he was left scrambling for players' signatures with the advent of a new season looming.
While Strachan is likely to take in a number of matches at this summer's finals in Germany, the Scot concedes he would prefer to take a more considered view on prospective signings.
Indeed, Strachan has already earmarked the positions he is seeking to reinforce and is steadfast in his intentions not to be swayed by any one-match World Cup wonders.
"I hope to have all my business finalised before the World Cup starts," said Strachan. "We have positions we need back-up for.
"I don't want to be in the same position as last season when it was a hectic summer.
"I might go to the World Cup but I don't want to be spooked into signings.
"Going to major tournaments is good. During Euro 2004 I was working with the BBC and managed to take in 11 games in 10 days because of the access you get."
With Stephen McManus poised to agree a new Parkhead contract, Strachan also has plenty of grounds for optimism.
Strachan hailed the importance of the 23-year-old and believes the player's receptive nature augurs well for his future career.
"Stephen is as important to this club as any player," claimed Strachan. "The talks to sign him up have been going well and we're not too far away now.
"Stephen only had about three percent of playing time in the two seasons before this one.
"He has played 90 percent of the games this time and that's a big shift to cope with physically and mentally.
"Stephen is a sponge for information and takes what he can out on to the pitch.
"He is the one who does our talking at the back and he is maturing all the time.
"When you look in his eyes you know he is listening. Guys like Stephen are one of the reasons why you become a coach."