Celtic v Rangers: ‘Deila finished if Celtic lose’

Ronny Deila would be finished at Celtic if he failed to win against Rangers, John Hartson has claimed. Picture: TSPL
Ronny Deila would be finished at Celtic if he failed to win against Rangers, John Hartson has claimed. Picture: TSPL
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RONNY Deila’s managerial reign at Celtic would come to an abrupt end should Celtic fail to live up to their tag as favourites in tomorrow’s Old Firm derby by losing to Rangers.

That’s the view of John Hartson, the former Celtic striker whose typically plainspoken remarks predicted that Celtic supporters would find a Rangers victory on Sunday’s League Cup semi-final tie unacceptable.

And Hartson rubbished the notion of cup competitions providing relative parity to two teams as he wrote in the Scottish Sun, saying: “Don’t give me all that stuff about how Old Firm games can go either way. I don’t want to hear it.

“Don’t say Bradford’s result against Chelsea proves anything can happen on any given day. That just doesn’t wash. Sure, upsets occur in football. If they didn’t, nobody would bother turning up.

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But the bottom line with this one is that anything other than a comfortable, straight-forward Celtic victory and the manager can forget it.”

He went on to declare outright that Deila would lose the support of fans should Rangers prevail in tomorrow’s Old Firm derby, the first the two sides have played in nearly three years.

“I just don’t think he could survive a defeat to Gers. I don’t think the fans would let him.

“They will be going to Hampden desperate to see their team wipe the floor with Rangers. They will not be happy unless they play them off the park and smash with them a bundle of goals. Neither should they.”

He added: “Only a good victory should see Deila running to those supporters after the final whistle pumping his fists. Otherwise, he may well have a queue of folk lining up to grab him by the throat.”

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