Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has little hope that Celtic’s managerial announcement will let his team back in the title race.
McInnes all but conceded the Ladbrokes Premiership title after a 2-1 defeat by Hearts and Celtic stretched their lead to eight points with victory at Motherwell the following day.
The Hoops have since announced Deila will depart in the summer after the manager decided to step down following William Hill Scottish Cup defeat by Rangers.
Aberdeen can put some pressure on by beating St Johnstone on Friday but McInnes is not counting on a collapse from Celtic, who host Ross County on Sunday.
“I said after the Hearts game that I felt the possibility of winning the league was all but beyond us,” McInnes said.
“While it’s mathematically still possible, we are not going to give it up, we are going to try and win every game and try and win the next game, which is the most important thing.
“It’s only Celtic’s to lose, it would need a dramatic collapse over the last five games.
“The league form has suggested that won’t be the case, they have never shown that at any time over the past few seasons and I wouldn’t think that would change now.
“Only time will tell whether the changes there will have an impact on results but the players and squad there are still capable of getting results, regardless of who is in charge.”
McInnes is still without top goalscorer Adam Rooney, who just misses out on a comeback from a thigh problem, but he wants his team to show they can keep up their side of the bargain by winning at McDiarmid Park.
“The last five games we are playing against teams that we’ve beaten this season already so we know when we are playing to our best we are capable of beating all those teams,” he said.
“The difficulty at the minute, when we have a few players out and the squad is stretched a wee bit, we are looking for individual performances that can help us get those results.
“But we are certainly confident going into the game, we had a good result there in January and hopefully the performance shows we still feel we have plenty to play for.”
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