Deila’s men rel­ish­ing Turk­ish de­light af­ter be­ing ham­pered by Hearts

The Herald - Sport - - FRONT PAGE -

MIKAEL LUSTIG has ap­pealed to Celtic man­ager Ronny Deila to sign for­mer Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­al­ist Carl­ton Cole fol­low­ing his suc­cess­ful trial, writes Matthew Lind­say.

Cole, who parted com­pany with West Ham at the end of last sea­son, is a free agent and will hold fur­ther talks with Deila and Celtic chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Lawwell this week.

How­ever, the Nor­we­gian coach is keen to add the vastly-ex­pe­ri­enced 31-year-old, who has re­turned to Lon­don af­ter train­ing at Len­nox­town last week, to his pool of play­ers.

An­thony Stokes has fallen out of favour dur­ing the 2015/16 cam­paign and Deila only has Nadir Ciftci and Leigh Grif­fiths to choose from up front.

Lustig was im­pressed with how the ex-Chelsea, Wolves and As­ton Villa man per­formed dur­ing his time in Scot­land and be­lieves he would im­prove the Celtic side if he signed a per­ma­nent deal.

The Swedish right-back said: “He hasn’t played for a lit­tle while, but you can still see he’s a good player. He’s ex­pe­ri­enced and he looks very good in the box.

“He’s done re­ally well down south and he brings us some­thing that we don’t have right now. He’s dif­fer­ent to what we have. He’s a box player and is maybe stronger in the air.

“You al­ways want new play­ers to make the squad bet­ter. If we do sign Carl­ton Cole then it’s not go­ing to make us worse – we will be bet­ter.”

Mean­while, Lustig, who ex­pects to be fit to face Fener­bahce at Park­head on Thurs­day night, has dis­missed fears play­ing in Europe will ham­per Celtic’s bid to re­tain the Premier­ship. He said: “We strug­gled a bit in the past when we have come back from Cham­pi­ons league to play in the league. But we were down against Aberdeen and then Ajax gave us a boost. We know that we can play good football and take points away from home.

“I think that Europe is im­por­tant for us. It’s al­ways good to play well when you have a good re­sult in the bag. If we can do well in Europe then we will do bet­ter in the do­mes­tic league as well. We are still Celtic. We should have a de­cent enough squad. It’s not just 11 or 14 play­ers who have to do the work ev­ery game. The whole squad needs to be ready.”

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