Sport Champions League

Saturday 20 September 2014

Ronny Deila: Celtic are too good for Champions League qualifiers

Published 15/07/2014 | 10:36

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Ronny Deila is angry the club must compete in the Champions League qualifying stages
Ronny Deila is angry the club must compete in the Champions League qualifying stages

New Celtic boss Ronny Deila has said that Celtic are too good to be involved in the Champions League qualifying rounds and claimed the club are victims of a “stupid” decision.

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Deila faces his first competitive match in charge of the Hoops in Iceland tonight against KR Reykjacvik. 

But he is angry that the club must compete in the qualifying stages following their heroics of reaching the last 16 two years ago.

"Celtic don't deserve to have three rounds before going into the Champions League groups," said Deila.

"It's very unfair that going to the last 16, as we did two years ago, is not going to be recognised.

"Celtic have been fighting for many years with the best teams in Europe and it is stupid that the Scottish coefficient is not regarded as good enough.

"It should be more about the clubs. I knew before I came here that we had three qualifying rounds.

"That's wrong because you have to take into consideration the club, not the country.

"We need the biggest clubs in the Champions League, who have deserved it of course."

Deila also had harsh words for the rest of the Scottish League, claiming they were dragging Celtic down.

"But it's a problem in every small country. We maybe have one good team but the other ones are dragging that team down. I think especially here, when you have a big team like Celtic that has done so well, they should have a shot at the group stages right away.

"Some countries have three or four teams going in and I think that is not right."

Captain Scott Brown is out for up top three months with a hamstring problem that could see him miss Scotland's Euro 2016 qualifier with Ireland in November while winger James Forrest is also ruled out tonight.

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