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Celtic boss Strachan: Balde deserved his chance

He said: "Sometimes you have to do something and in the past I had to leave out Steve Ogrizovic, who was one of our best players and probably the best-loved Coventry City player ever.

"I just felt it was right and because of that we brought in Magnus Hedman who had a terrific time and helped to keep us in the Premiership.

"So you have to make decisions now and again, and I have no problem with that.

"I felt this game needed a change in the back four and you could say Steven Pressley was a little bit unlucky (to miss out), but as I explained to him, sometimes managers have to make decisions like that and when you are a manager yourself, you will probably understand it."

Balde was imperious as Celtic recorded their first clean sheet away from Parkhead since October 1, 2006, when they defeated Falkirk.

Since then the Hoops had gone 34 consecutive games on the road without managing to keep their opponents at bay, but finally ended that terrible run on Tayside.

"I'm delighted to be back in the team and happy that the team won today with a clean sheet," Balde told Setanta Sports.

"I'm happy we didn't concede any goals."

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