Dalglish backing Deila

Celtic Manager Ronny Deila

Andy Newport

Former Celtic striker Kenny Dalglish reckons Parkhead boss Ronny Deila is ready to grasp the opportunity presented by Sunday's Old Firm showdown with Rangers.

The Norwegian and his team took another step towards their fifth straight title with Saturday's win at Motherwell.

But there remain question marks over his long-term Celtic future following their stuttering campaign and Deila's disastrous European record.

However, Dalglish reckons the manager will realise he can ease some of the weight on his shoulders by beating Mark Warburton's team in this weekend's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final.

The Hoops favourite said: "I think it's an important match for Ronny but I'm sure he won't underestimate it.

"He had his first taste of it last year so he knows what it's about. He understands Celtic.

"He's been there for a couple of years. He knows what the club stands for and what this game means."

Next week's clash will be only the second Old Firm duel since Gers' 2012 financial implosion.

Deila's Ladbrokes Premiership champions-elect are hot favourites to follow up last year's 2-0 League Cup victory with another win at Hampden but Dalglish insists the Ibrox men will be under just as much pressure as their rivals.

"In an Old Firm game, there is pressure on everybody," he insisted. "Nobody is going to grab any bonus points by saying, 'We're Rangers, we're just a Championship team, we're not under any pressure'.

"Ask the supporters if they are under any pressure. It's the same for Celtic. Celtic are under pressure because they want to win too."

Celtic could not have had it any easier when they met Gers last February but most Light Blues supporters were just glad to see their vastly under-equipped team not suffer a heavier beating.