Wednesday 13 December 2017

Losing pole position holds no fears for confident Celtic boss

Celtic boss Ronny Deila. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.
Celtic boss Ronny Deila. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

Jamie Holland

Celtic boss Ronny Deila insists he is relaxed about the prospect of trailing Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership before his side travel to Tynecastle tomorrow.

The 2-1 home defeat by Motherwell last weekend, which brought more pressure on the Norwegian following their Europa League exit, left the Hoops just one point ahead of the Dons with a game in hand.

Aberdeen have the chance to go top when they play Inverness today before Celtic's trip to face Hearts.

But when asked if that scenario would add pressure, the Norwegian replied: "Not at all. We have everything in our hands, we don't need to think about anybody.

"After the next game you are halfway in the season. Hopefully, if everything goes well on Sunday we could be (potentially) seven points (ahead), what are you thinking then?

"The situation is clear. We have played one game less and if we win that we are four points ahead and that is a better situation than we were in last year.

"We will see where we are when we come to May, you get your answers, I get my answers and then we can evolve."

Deila straight-batted a question about a fans' online petition to see him relieved of his duties and stressed his determination to get back on track in Gorgie.

He said: "Supporters have opinions and there are different opinions among the supporters as well.

"It is very important that they stand behind the team. I am sure they are doing that and I am really looking forward to playing Hearts and getting three points.

"We will do everything we can to bounce back. I am very confident, very confident in the team. We are top of the league, we have won a lot in the past and we want to win a lot in the future.

"We can turn this into a very good season and that is what we want to do.

"I know that we need to step up from recently but we have done it before."

The former Stromsgodset boss is hoping that striker Leigh Griffiths will be fit after missing three games with a calf injury. "It is not 100pc but it is a possibility," he said.

Hearts v Celtic

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