Ronny Deila keen to have strong Celtic squad

Ronny Deila is looking forward to having two equally capable Celtic line-ups at his disposal. Picture: SNS

Ronny Deila is looking forward to having two equally capable Celtic line-ups at his disposal. Picture: SNS

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RONNY Deila looks forward to being able to field two different but equally capable Celtic teams.

The Hoops boss has found to his cost that his squad is not as strong as he wants it to be, never more so than when he played Saturday’s opponents Inverness earlier in the season.

Ahead of the second leg of the Champions League qualifying play-off against Maribor at Parkhead in August - which they lost 1-0 following a 1-1 draw in Slovenia the previous week - the Norwegian made 10 changes for the trip to the Highlands in the Premiership and lost 1-0.

And following the 2-2 Europa League draw away to Salzburg the following month, Deila made six changes for the visit of Motherwell and dropped another two points in the 1-1 draw, bringing more criticism his way.

It appeared that lessons have been learned following the home 2-1 Europa League win over Romanian outfit Astra Giurgiu just over a week ago, with Deila making only three changes for the league encounter against Kilmarnock at Parkhead which they won 2-0.

Recalling the first game against Caley, the former Stromsgodset boss said: “There are two things there. Hopefully within one year or two years, we can play those kind of teams and win.

“Two, there were too many changes. We had 10 changes in that game. It was a very important game we had in the Champions League afterwards so that was something we had to do.

“Against Motherwell we had five or six changes and the last time we had only three and we played better and won.

“We have to learn from this and try to develop everyone so we can play two different teams sometimes if we need to.”

Goalkeeper Craig Gordon was on the bench for the defeat against John Hughes’ side and is looking to make amends at Celtic Park.

The Scotland international said: “They have already beaten us this season. Up there we made a few changes after a European game, this time at home we will be looking to win the game and get our own back for that one.

“I think they’ve done very well. Yogi (John Hughes) has changed the way they’ve been playing in the last few years.

“They’ve been passing the ball a lot more and they are quite an attractive team to watch.

“If they come here and look to do that again then there is a possibility they could cause us problems.”

Much of the talk in the past week has been about the possibility of Celtic winning the domestic treble as well as the Europa League.

However, Gordon is simply enjoying the prospect of success after his stint at Sunderland when avoiding relegation was treated as a positive achievement.

He said: “It makes a difference from the last four or five years when I was at Sunderland when any finish above the bottom three was considered a good season.

“I think being able to win trophies is something every player would rather do than be involved in a relegation scrap.

“You’ve got to go out and try to win every game. It’s a different mentality than trying to win 10 games and a few draws to get enough points to see in you the league for another year.”

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