Deila ready to go window shopping
Celtic might have to bring in stop-gap January signings as cover for their lengthy casualty list but there is also an opportunity for squad players to make their mark on the campaign to scoop up a clean sweep of the Scottish honours, according to Ronny Deila.
The Parkhead manager takes his players to Dens Park in the knowledge that victory tonight will see the champions go into 2016 leading Aberdeen, no matter how the Dons fare at home to Partick Thistle.
Long-term casualties, Scott Brown and Charlie Mulgrew, have been joined on the treatment table by Kris Commons, Leigh Griffiths, Stuart Armstrong and Dedryck Boyata, with Mikael Lustig and Efe Ambrose both also having sustained knocks in Sunday's 2-2 draw with Hearts.
"Injuries will, of course, affect the January window but hopefully it's not anything big," said Deila. "But whatever happens, we need to strengthen and we will work hard on that. The players who are not getting so many games have to take their chances. It's so tough to play here when they have team-mates who are very good, so they have to show on the pitch that they deserve to play.
"The players who are out are experienced but I think we showed against Hearts that we can do it without them as well. January is a tough window because nobody wants to lose players when they are in the middle of the season but we did some good transfers last January."
Asked to sum up 2015 from a personal perspective, the Norwegian said: "It's been a rollercoaster. We had a very positive last part of the 2014-'15 season, a double, a couple of good games in Europe and then we started well in Europe. We got a blow against Malmo and after that we lost players and we had to reorganise a little and that affected us, especially in the defence and the results in Europe weren't good enough. Having said that, in the league we are in a good position, we are still in everything in Scotland. Sometimes it's grey, not black or white."
Dundee's weekend experience was stark, as they were battered 5-2 by Ross County. Paul Hartley, too, has had to deal with injury concerns - Scott Bain, Nicky Low, Thomas Konrad, Kane Hemmings, Kevin Thomson and Gary Irvine are worries - while Julen Etxabeguren is out. (© Daily Telegraph, London)
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