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Deila sets Europa target as Celtic prepare for visit of Zagreb


Ronny Deila

Ronny Deila

Ronny Deila

Ronny Deila has targeted 10 Europa League points for Celtic as he prepares for the visit of Dinamo Zagreb tonight.

The Hoops began their Group D campaign with an encouraging 2-2 draw in Salzburg and now host the Croatians in their first home game.

The Norwegian believes a domestic treble is possible in his first season as Parkhead boss but in terms of Europe, he is first looking to qualify out of the section and he believes that can be achieved with a double-figure points total.

"The target is to get through and to do that we need 10 points," said Deila, who believes Zagreb, who hammered Astra 5-1 in their section opener, to be at the "same level" as Salzburg.

"Home games are very important and if we win the home games we will have 10 points. So that is the target for us.

"The goal in Scotland is to win everything.

"That hasn't been done in many years so we know it is a big target but I love big targets so that is what we go for.

"The League, the League Cup and FA Cup, we want to win them all and we can win them all.

"But I don't say we are going to win the Europa League.

"Everything is possible but to win the Europa League would be an unbelievable achievement.

"To go through (to the knockout stage) is something we want to do and it will test us.

"The Europa League is very important because you need experience.

"The team has a lot of knowledge about Scotland and we win things.

"Now it is very good for us to play against teams in the Europa League who are better than the teams in Scotland and that makes us better.

"If we win against Zagreb we will have had a very good start in the Europa League and that is important to us."

Deila's reluctance to set the European bar too high is understandable.

Celtic have failed to win any of their last five European matches this season and were effectively knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers twice as a 6-1 aggregate defeat by Legia Warsaw was overturned by UEFA due to an adminstrative error by the Polish club.

The Scottish champions eventually exited at the play-off stage to Slovenian side Maribor.

With that in mind, skipper Scott Brown admits Celtic have "a point to prove to pretty much everyone."

He said: "Obviously we want to go as far as possible. Our aim is to try to get out of the group and tomorrow is hopefully going to be one step closer to it.

"This group is going to be hard, it's going to be tough for us, but I think we've got the players in the dressing room that can definitely do it.

"We've seen the video of them and they look a strong team but we've got great players as well."

Deila played down the absence of John Guidetti, not registered for the group stages of the competition in time.

The Swedish striker, on loan from Manchester City, claimed both goals in the Hoops' 2-1 Premiership win over St Mirren at the weekend.