Gordon Strachan had to contend with warring players and a growing injury list after Celtic stuttered to a 2-1 Scottish Cup fifth round victory over Queen's Park on Saturday. Spanish midfielder Marc Crosas limped out of the match against the Second Division amateurs to join Stephen McManus on the injury list with next week's crucial Old Firm clash looming. However, the Hoops manager said he expected the captain to be back for the game with the Glasgow giants, only separated by two points at the top of the Scottish Premier League.
"I don't know the extent of Crosas's injury and we wait until it settles down. I think it is his ankle," Strachan said. "Stephen McManus has a sore knee, but he expects to be back next week for the Old Firm game."
Meanwhile, a spat between Irish international Aiden McGeady and Polish keeper Artur Boruc will be more of a concern to Celtic fans after the pair clashed at training this week. Strachan said he had dealt with the problem and the matter was over.
"On Thursday at the training ground there was an altercation between Artur Boruc and Aiden McGeady," said Strachan."That has been sorted out by me as the manager. I have spoken to the players and, as far as I'm concerned, it is finished."
Shaun Maloney, who started his first game since being injured in December, said the atmosphere in the dressing room had not been affected by the training ground bust-up. "Everyone gets on very well and, as far as I'm concerned, there is no problem in the dressing room. Training can be competitive and after all football is a contact sport. Sometimes these things can boil over," said Maloney.
The midfielder, who returned to Celtic Park at the beginning of the season after an 18 month stay with Aston Villa, said he was looking forward to next week's Old Firm clash after missing the December fixture due to injury. "It is a massive fixture and one I really missed in my time down south with Aston Villa," Maloney said. "It is special and one that's good to be involved in. Obviously, the ones we win are better to play in as it's not good when we lose against Rangers."
On Saturday, Celtic were given a real fright by Queen's Park. The Scottish Premier League champions appeared to be coasting to a place in the quarter-finals with first-half headed goals from Gary Caldwell and Scott McDonald. But a howler from Boruc allowed substitute Adam Coakley, who had only been on the pitch for five minutes, to score and hand Queen's Park a lifeline.
Coakley then saw red for his second booking with ten minutes to go for a rash challenge on Lee Naylor, having already been booked for his goal celebrations. Scotland's oldest club can be proud of their contribution to the game, as the team of students and tradesmen came close to causing what would have been one of Scottish football's biggest upsets.