Sunday 19 November 2017

Deila: Jealous critics are out to hurt Celtic

Ronnie Deila: Rant
Ronnie Deila: Rant

Ronnie Esplin

Manager Ronny Deila hit back at his critics in a remarkable press conference rant at Celtic's Lennoxtown training ground.

The Hoops boss came under pressure after losing 3-1 to Molde in their Europa League game which left the Scottish champions at the bottom of Group A after three matches.

Despite returning from Norway to beat Dundee United 5-0 in the Premiership and move four points clear of today's opponents Aberdeen - and then following up with a 2-1 win at Hearts to clinch a League Cup semi-final place - there is a widespread and ongoing debate about Deila's future at the club.

Alex McLeish, who won the treble as Rangers boss in 2003, was quoted as saying, "even if you win domestically just now it might not be enough," while former Celtic keeper Packie Bonner said: "I don't think that Celtic are getting better in Europe."

Asked about ex-players who have commented on what he had to achieve this season, the Norwegian said: "I have to think about the people inside this club.

"Celtic have been unbelievably successful for many years and everyone around Celtic wants to hurt us and find negative things and that is something this club has to cope with all the time.

"What is important is that this club sticks together. (We have won) four league titles in a row and we won the League Cup last year.

"The club has been in Europe for many, many years, they are the pride of Scotland in Europe and so many positive things are happening around here.

"We are in the semi-final, we're going to play against Ajax, Fenerbahce and Molde in the Europa League.

"Where are the other Scottish teams? I don't know. I haven't seen them in Europe. The national team is not in Europe either - they aren't going to the Euros."

Deila, who revealed captain Scott Brown is heading to London for further scans on a knee injury, believed the club's critics were too extreme in their opinions.

"All the people who are talking have had good times in their career and bad times," he added. "They talk to promote themselves and to get headlines."

Deila also roped traditional rivals Rangers into his passionate broadside. The Ibrox club are top of the Championship as they continue their recovery from their financial problems in 2012, although a League Cup defeat to Premiership side St Johnstone suggested that the Light Blues still have a way to go.

The Celtic boss said: "Where are Rangers now? They are in the Championship. When they lose against St Johnstone everything is okay.

"If that was 10 years ago, do you think it would be the same?

"When we lose one game, everything turns against us. Of course we are disappointed but we have to keep calmer.

"Of course it is jealousy. But this club does everything almost perfectly. The economy is unbelievable. The club is driven in a fantastic way.

"We don't use money we don't have, but when you build things you have to be patient but we are winning at the same time as well."

Celtic v Aberdeen

Live, Sky Sports 2, 12.30

Irish Independent

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