A magnificent response

Last updated : 04 January 2004 By Martyn Elliott

Sir Bobby

"The players have given a magnificent response in the only way they can - and that's by showing their footballing ability.

"We've lost two games in 14 and kept our calm and were professional about it.

"We're in the fourth round, which is where we very much want to be.

"Kieron went to hospital on Monday and had a minor operation. He was in on the morning out in the evening.

"It was all to do with constipation and a complication to do with his bowels. It was a very unpleasant problem.

"He trained very gingerly on Tuesday, was a bit better on Wednesday, had Thursday off, trained lightly on Friday and then played like that.

"He was quite remarkable and finished the match with a sensational goal.

"It was an exquisite finish. I always say to him 'Can you finish?' Here he said 'yes'.

"We used him up front, and he made a difference to the side. What I like about Kieron is he harries and hassles people. His work off the ball is just as good as on the ball."

Gordon Strachan

"I don't know where to start. They were better, quicker and sharper and gave us problems.

"I know why it's come about but don't think it should be public knowledge.

"It's been a difficult 10 days, because we haven't looked like winning in these three games at any time.

"I don't think you could have put two games together beforehand in the two-and-a-half years I've been here and said that - but it's three now.

"I'd like to think we'll sort it out with the players we've got now because the opportunity should be given to the players to rectify it."