Ronny Deila insists redemption rather than revenge will underpin Celtic’s determination to see off Ross County in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday.
The Hoops were beaten 3-1 by the Staggies in the Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden Park less than two weeks ago, having had defender Efe Ambrose sent off early in the game while leading 1-0.
The shock defeat ended hopes of a domestic treble for Deila’s men.
However, when the Norwegian was asked if revenge was the right word to use for this weekend’s visit of County, he said: “I think it is the wrong word but at the same time we really want to bounce back after the semi-final.
“I think that (proving a point) is better. It is about getting momentum, getting on the right track and winning football games.
“First of all is to win. That is the most important thing but we also want to win playing beautiful football.
“We want both but if I have to choose I will take the first one.
“We have prepared well and are looking forward to the game.
“We want to take with us the 12-15 minutes (at Hampden) where we created a lot of chances and do that for 90 minutes.”
Deila, whose side lead Aberdeen at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership on goal difference with a game in hand after losing 2-1 to the Dons in their last league game, believes the closing of the gap by the Pittodrie men will only increase the desire of his players to keep at the top.
“They are going to be more hungry, of course,” he said.
“They know that it is very important to keep momentum and winning games and getting performances.
“I am very impressed with what Aberdeen have done. They have done very well, so all credit to them.”
Celtic convincingly beat St Johnstone 3-1 and Hamilton 8-1 in their last two home games and the former Stromsgodset boss is looking for the same intensity against Jim McIntyre’s men, who lost 3-0 at home to Hearts on Wednesday night.
“Intensity is one of our biggest strengths,” he said.
“That is what good teams are, they can do things quicker than the other teams and do it over a longer period.
“That is what we want to do on Saturday, go out with a high tempo, high intensity and try to open up Ross County and win the game.”
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