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Jefferies hails Celtic's Japanese ace Nakamura

"I'll bet every manager has this discussion before they play Celtic," Jefferies said. "I remember being up at Gleneagles for a coaching conference and John Collins said he'd tried to apply various theories with his goalkeepers.

"Someone even asked if there was any point in putting up a defensive wall but if you didn't do that then someone else would take the free-kick.

"Nakamura has a fantastic ability to get the ball up and down and into the postage stamp. He's done it against better teams than us, too. Don't forget that he scored twice against Manchester United and they have a top-class, 6ft 5in keeper, in Edwin van der Sar.

"You have to give him credit. We've tried one or two things and once spent an entire week working on stopping him scoring from set-pieces. Alan Combe had a few ideas he thought might help but Nakamura ended up putting the ball in an area we never thought of.

"Even when you put a player on the post, he still scores. Ultimately, you can only hope that you get the breaks and he has an off day.

"You'll save yourself an awful lot of trouble by not giving away daft free-kicks on the edge of the box but that's easier said than done in the heat of the battle. Gordon Strachan thinks Nakamura is a genius when it comes to free-kicks and I'd go along with that."

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Tribal Football Staff

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