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Ronny Deila plea to Celtic fans: Give me a year

Deila has come under pressure after UCL exit. Picture: SNS

Deila has come under pressure after UCL exit. Picture: SNS

  • by RONNIE ESPLIN
 

RONNY DEILA has asked for a year before he is judged as a Celtic manager.

The Norwegian has come in for stinging criticism following the Hoops’ ignominious Champions League play-off exit at the hands of Maribor at Parkhead on Wednesday night in what was his second chance of reaching the group stages this season.

Legia Warsaw beat the Scottish champions 6-1 on aggregate in the third qualifier, but Celtic were reinstated when the Polish club were found to have fielded a player who should have been suspended.

Following the 1-0 home defeat to the Slovenians, which gave the visitors a 2-1 aggregate win, Celtic dropped into the Europa League, drawing Austrian side Salzburg, Croatians Dinamo Zagreb and Romanian side Astra.

Deila, who took over from Neil Lennon in June, acknowledged the flak, but is looking for time to make his mark at the club.

He said: “I take all the criticism I understand it. There’s a lot of emotions going on and I’m just as disappointed as the fans are so that’s something you have to live with.

“We have to build a team again who can go into the Champions League next year and you can think we have a big chance there.

“This year we didn’t have that team. It’s not just a case of buying a player and putting him into the team, because they might have not played, are not fit or don’t know our style of play.

“Everything takes time. They could have an injury like Scott Brown or like James Forrest.

“You have to train them into a system. This is something we have to develop. We have to develop other players and get new players used to how we want to play.

“In one year I think it is right for the fans and everybody to judge me.

“If we don’t win the league, we don’t have anything to do with the Champions League then then they can say to me, ‘Hey what a bad job’. And I will take it no problem.”

“We have to close the chapter with Champions League and remember that feeling.

“We have to learn from those defeats. We weren’t good enough and that is what we take with us

“Now it is, I hope, almost 50 games and that is what we will focus on.”

Ghana winger Wakaso Mubarak arrived from Rubin Kazan on Wednesday to become the club’s fourth loan signing this summer.

Deila expects Serbia striker Stefan Scepovic to sign from Spanish second tier club Sporting Gijon to become a sixth new face at Parkhead in total.

However, the former Stromsgodset boss again explained the difficulties of getting new players in and questioned the £6 million transfer fee that his predecessor Lennon claimed he had at his disposal for a player.

Ahead of the Premiership game against Dundee at Dens Park on Sunday, he said: “It is very difficult to get players in. You have to pay them.

“That is the reality. It is hard to understand, but it is the truth.

“A £6-8 million player - it is not about the fee, it is about the salaries.

“We have to pay the bill afterwards so that is not realistic.

“It is always a balance between fees and salaries. If the club is ruined it is not fun. We have seen other clubs having problems with that.

“But what will happen if we get in a player and he is paid twice as much as Scott Brown.

“Do you think Scott Brown will think that is okay?

“What will we do when we go to re-sign a player?

“If we buy a new player, he will say, ‘He got it so I want it’.

“To be a director in a football club is maybe harder than to be a manager.

“You have to get the club in the right way and I think Peter (Lawwell, chief executive) has done that fantastically well.”

 

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