Gordon Strachan has paid tribute to Richard Shaw before the Coventry City warhorse's testimonial against Celtic at the Ricoh Arena tonight.

Former Sky Blues manager Strachan will bring the new Scottish Premier League champions to honour his former player, who was once also his team-mate.

Strachan, taking charge of Coventry for the first time since being sacked in September 2001, said: "It was an easy decision for me to bring the team down for Richard's testimonial and I'm delighted our board has been so supportive in that."

Strachan was still a Sky Blues player on the day Shaw made his debut at Loftus Road in November 1995 - two days after being signed by then manager Ron Atkinson. Despite becoming his manager the following summer, Strachan's respect has remained undimmed.

He said: "Richard's qualities as a footballer are the same as they are as a man. You can trust him, he is honest and, if you ever need anyone beside you when you are in trouble, Richard is the man. He never shirks responsibility and is always there for the team. He loves playing football and he loves his team-mates and his football has improved even more with the more games he has played.

"When I worked with him, he was competitive at everything he did and was great at taking in information. He always wanted to get better. If you can't be the best on the pitch, do everything you can to be a great team-mate - and that's exactly what Richard was. He was great for me. I always got on well with the players I worked with and we all still speak to each other.

"Players like Richard helped me a lot as a manager and a footballer. I would do anything for a player like that because they have done so much for me. There's no better reason to visit than for Richard's testimonial."