Gordon Strachan has admitted he is looking for inspiration as he bids to add consistency to Celtic’s up and down season after the shock 1-0 defeat to St. Mirren in the Scottish Cup quarterfinal.

Former Irish under-21 striker Billy Mehmet scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot, and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink had a late header saved as Celtic went out to a team they had put seven goals past in the league the week before.

Celtic now meet Rangers in the League Cup final on Sunday and Strachan admitted, “We had three good performances in a row before the St. Mirren game, but that wasn’t a good one.

“That is the inconsistency that we have shown this year. I’d love to get a consistency that you could pick the same team every week, but we don’t have 11 or 12 who stay in the team all the time.

“That’s my job to find it, but if you go along to the coaching courses they don’t say, ‘If you want to go back on a long run, this is what you do.’ You are out on a limb as a manager and you have to try and find ways to get that consistency back.

Asked how disappointed he was after the St Mirren game, Strachan said, “I can’t tell you because you will never understand it unless you are me. I’m sorry about that, but that’s the way it goes.

“We are out and we didn’t deserve to be anything other than out. We might have had a replay but we are out and it’s very hard to find excuses.

“We just didn’t play well enough to go through to the next round. It wasn’t a tactical game and the weather meant you couldn’t move the ball around that much but we are not going to complain about that.”