We will be ready next year, Deila promises Celtic fans
Manager insists club is close to making some real progress on European stage
RONNY DEILA last night insisted he can bounce back from Celtic’s exit from the Europa League and lead the Parkhead club into the Champions League group stages next season.
The Scottish champions’ hopes of progressing to the last 32 of the competition slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Ajax at Celtic Park in their penultimate Group A match.
The result will intensify pressure on Deila, whose side has failed to win any of their five group games and is bottom spot in their section, as manager.
He failed to take them into the group stages of the Champions League earlier in the 2015/16 campaign when they lost to Swedish champions Malmo in the play-off. However, the Norwegian stated that he has seen signs of improvement in his side and is confident that he can secure a spot alongside European football’s elite at the third time of asking next term.
“We are going to be ready next year,” said Deila. “That’s the message to all the fans and that’s the task I have here with everybody else at this football club.
“I know it’s small details. I could see a lot of good spells in this performance, but I know we need to be better with the small details to win games. I feel we are very close, but it’s not good enough right now.
“But I believe we will be ready for the Champions League next season. I can see it’s only small details.
“If you can see the big picture you’ll see that also. But next year we are going to be better than teams like Malmo. This makes me have a lot of energy to bounce back which I have done many times in my career. I will do it here as well.”
He added: “I think a lot of people sees the whole picture. I think they see a lot of progress with McGregor coming through and also KT.
They can see Simunovic can be a very good central defender with Stuart Armstrong getting better. Leigh Griffiths scores a lot of goals.
“But I know that we haven’t been good enough with the small details. We have conceded easy goals but in Europe you get punished very hard and that’s the learning curve. And that’s what we need to be better on when we, hopefully, go into the Champions League qualification.”
Deila added: “Two points from five games is not good enough, but you have to see through the results. Ajax away, that wasn’t a bad game and we had it until we went down to 10 men.
“Everyone knows what happened with Fenerbahce at home, but the two games against Molde were not good enough. Below Celtic standard. There was a lot of good football here, but we were caught in the end by simple mistakes. It looks a bit immature, if you can say that.”
DOWN AND OUT: Leigh Griffiths buries his head inside his jersey after Celtic’s Europa League hopes came to a juddering halt at home to Ajax.