Celtic manager Gordon Strachan admits he has been surprised by the emergence of young striker Cillian Sheridan who has taken advantage of the Hoops' injury crisis to force his way in to the headlines.

The 19-year-old Irishman was fast-forwarded into action after experienced strikers Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Georgios Samaras and Chris Killen were all sidelined with injuries.

Sheridan bagged his second and third goals of the season against Kilmarnock in a 3-0 win at Parkhead on Wednesday and Strachan said: "I couldn't have asked for any more, it was a terrific performance."

He added: "When he came here to Celtic, he was raw but there was something about him.

"We've realised that he is an intelligent lad and he takes things in.

"The problem is he has played so little football over the last year and a half through injury, we thought we might be putting him in too early but it has worked out all right."

Despite their injury problems in recent weeks, the champions have won nine SPL games in a row since losing at home to Rangers at the end of August.

The win over Killie meant that champions stretched their lead over Rangers at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League to four points after the Ibrox men were held to a goalless draw at Motherwell.

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