Celtic boss Strachan keen to lighten Nakamura load

On the back of last year's World Cup Finals and the Confederation Cup the summer before, the midfield maestro has hardly had a rest of any length for more than three years.

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Strachan said: "If you think about any player, he probably has a dip once or twice in the season. Say he plays for 15 years, that's 30 dips in form he will have. We in this country - and I'm talking about England as well - don't seem to allow for that.

"Take Michael Owen. He doesn't score for a couple of games and the question is immediately asked, has he lost it? It's part of our make-up. But it has to happen that you have dips in form now and then. It's how you handle them that matters.

"Are you still a team player? Are you still working hard? If you are, then great. And Naka is brave. He doesn't just kick it away somewhere. So I'm really pleased with him.

"He was left on as long as he was against Motherwell because he is a genius and can do anything at any time."

Strachan continued: "We were discussing what was the best way to keep pressure off you. The answer is to keep the ball, and that's what Naka does.

"We will always allow him to lose possession 20 yards from their goal because he is trying to be creative. And it us up to us get into good positions to allow him to use his imagination."

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