RONNY Deila admitted yesterday that Scott Brown has the potential to step into his shoes one day and become manager of Celtic.
The Celtic captain will hand the Scottish Premiership trophy to the Norwegian at Celtic Park tomorrow after the last match of the campaign against Inverness Caledonian Thistle to celebrate the club’s fourth successive title.
However, Deila believes the managerial baton could easily be passed to Brown in the future. The Scotland and Celtic midfielder has leadership in his DNA, according to Deila. Brown has even given up his spare time to help coach Celtic’s under-20s to win the SFA Youth Cup.
Brown was at Hampden Park last Thursday assisting coach Stevie Frail in the 5-2 success against Rangers. “I think it is very positive for him,” declared Deila. “It just has to be managed in the right way so it is not taking out his energy. But Scott loves Celtic. He is a talented player and a talented coach as well. He has leadership in him.
“He wants to develop as a coach and I think you develop as a player as well when you start coaching because you have to reflect. ‘What do I do on the pitch and how am I going to tell the other players in a short and concrete way?’ That is always a good thing. It makes you a better player.
“I think he can be a future manager. First, you have to have the motivation to be it and he has that. Then, it is about learning. Scott has progressed all his life as a footballer. He has stayed at the club for a long time and in my opinion that is the sign of a good person. If you are a bad person, you will never stay in a club for a long time.
“He has things that can get him to be a good manager. I think he will always be taken care of at Celtic and get his development and one day maybe he is ready for that task.”
Securing a title in his inaugural campaign has extended Neil Lennon’s good work to four successive championships. “I am not so into holding the trophy,” said Deila. “That is not the biggest thing. It is important not to take winning for granted. The big goal now is the Champions League. We are preparing every day for that one.
“I am working all the time. I will go away but I will always be on the phone, following everything with Peter Lawwell [the chief executive]. We want to have a good [transfer] window so that when we meet up in June, we are even stronger. But you can’t be stupid. You have to do the right things.
“You never fully switch off. It is different than going into work every day. You can relax more and be together with people you love and have some time off and some sunshine.” However, retaining the players he already has is equally important to Deila. The Celtic manager insisted that reports claiming that Nir Bitton would be joining Sunderland for £5 million are unfounded.
“I am happy to hear that people are interested in Nir,” said Deila. “There has been tremendous development and he is a great player, but again he has got to stay here and develop more. He needs more games under his belt before he can make the next step.
“This title is another step for the team. It is different from when we won at Stromsgodset because at Celtic, we are used to winning. In Norway, that was a sensation.
“It is important to enjoy this day. There have been times that the trophy was not at Celtic Park and now it is four in a row. That is a very good spell and hopefully there will be more.”