Deila: Fight shows we are ready for the battle ahead
Izaguirre left with stitches in ear wound after tangling with Ciftci
RONNY DEILA played down yesterday’s training ground bust-up between Emilio Izaguirre and Nadir Ciftci and said it only proves his side will be up for the fight at Tynecastle on League Cup duty tonight.
The Honduran required stitches to a wound to his ear after coming off worst in a tussle with the Turk at Lennoxtown, the former Dundee United striker catching Izaguirre with his boot on the head as he attempted to free himself after being the victim of a bad tackle. While slide tackling is outlawed in training matches at Celtic, Deila was relaxed about the incident, which came hot on the heels of Kris Commons venting his fury at the Norwegian and his backroom staff in Molde and Leigh Griffiths and Dedryck Boyata having a go at each other on the same trip. The Norwegian is a believer in what he calls confrontation culture and feels it is a positive sign that there is so much passion for winning and improving, rather than acceptance and apathy.
“I wasn’t there,” said Deila. “But what I am told happened was a tackle from Emilio which was a little bit too much and then Nadir reacted to that tackle, he thought that was very hard and he tried to get away from it. And then he kicked back and he hits his face and he didn’t know that or see that, and he caught his ear. Emilio had to go to the hospital to get a couple of stitches to put it together. I talked with both players, they move on. There was no purpose in hitting his face. Both are available. I want to have everybody on the same page and that we go straight forward but I know that in performance culture it’s never straightforward, you have to have confrontations, you have to have different personalities who want to win and who want to fight.”
As it was essentially the usually placid Izaguirre and not the occasionally-combustible Ciftci who sparked the incident, Deila defended his signing from Dundee United, who left Tannadice with something of a reputation for being a troublemaker. “I think Nadir is a handful because he’s very emotional but a lot of players are like this,” said Deila. “But if they cause you problems then they cause the opponent problems as well. For me there’s not been a problem. He’s wanting to learn, but you need to speak and be close to him. Everyone needs to feel supported and be guided. At Celtic there have not been any incidents on the pitch. He’s been very good and he learns a lot coming to a culture like this.”
Deila’s side will need to be warlike and disciplined at Tynecastle, a venue he has visited once before during a 4-0 Scottish Cup win last November. “We have to take the fight to Hearts but be fair the fight starts with winning challenges, running enough, being tough on the pitch, but again we want to be disciplined and do it in a fair way.”
CUT SHORT: Izaguirre leaves training early after his training-ground dust up with Nadir Ciftci which left the defender with blood running down his neck.