Ronny Deila insists he has no concerns over his job as Celtic manager despite the latest European failure of his tenure.
A 2-1 defeat by Molde at Celtic Park last night leaves the Scottish champions of the verge of elimination from the Europa League.
They remain at the bottom of Group A with two points from four games, although their fate does still rest in their own hands after Ajax and Fenerbahce drew 0-0 in Amsterdam.
If Celtic take maximum points from their remaining games, at home to Ajax on 26 November and then against Fenerbahce in Istanbul on 10 December, they will join Molde in the knockout stages of the tournament next year.
With Deila’s side having now failed to win any of their last five European games, that appears a highly unlikely prospect.
But the Norwegian coach is defiant in his belief Celtic can still qualify, as well as in his conviction the club’s board will allow him another crack at Champions League football next season.
I don’t think about my position. That’s for other people to write about.Ronny Deila
“Yes, I’m confident [that I will be given time],” said Deila. “I talked about that two days ago and one day ago. So, again, we have done very well domestically. In Europe we haven’t reached the level we want to do.
“But we are going to improve, that’s what we are going to do. I don’t think about my position. That’s for other people to write about. I’m going to work hard to turn this around and be ready for next year, as well as the final two games in this group as well.
“I think it’s a realistic chance to qualify, I do. We have drawn against both Ajax and Fenerbahce before now, while Molde have been the best team in the group.
“We can beat Ajax here and we can beat Fenerbahce away. We are going to fight until the end for those six points.”
Celtic have now conceded 37 goals in the 24 European ties they have played under Deila. Defensive errors proved costly again last night as goals by Mohamed Elyounoussi and Daniel Hestad, either side of a Kris Commons strike, earned Molde the win which secured their place in the last 32.
“It is individual mistakes again,” added Deila. “We need to have more character and pride in the box. We have to win challenges one on one.
“What can I say to the fans to give them hope? That all the time we are trying to analyse what we are doing, trying to do it better and that we are not happy with what happened here.”
Molde coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged Celtic to keep faith with Deila and believes their recent European decline is down to the absence of a serious domestic challenge from Rangers.
“It is hard when you win the league just by turning up every year,” said Solskjaer. “It’s natural they struggle to get up to the heights they had when they had the Old Firm derbies.
“Ronny has been under pressure his whole career at Celtic. That’s the nature of the job. If I was them, I would stick with Ronny.
“I know him and I know he is a very good coach.”