Ronny Deila believes David Moyes should have no reservations about succeeding him as Celtic manager this summer, insisting the Parkhead club remain capable of taking their place among Europe’s elite.
Failure to reach the Champions League group stage in both of his seasons in charge played a significant part in the pressure which has prompted Deila to announce he will leave Celtic at the end of this season.
Moyes is odds-on favourite with several leading bookmakers to fill the forthcoming vacancy. While the former Everton and Manchester United boss has not ruled it out, doubts have been expressed over whether he will feel his own ambitions are matched by the resources available for a bid to return Celtic to the Champions League.
But Deila, who has admitted personal responsibility for the lack of progress at the club during his tenure, says he would have no hesitation in urging Moyes to take the job.
“Of course I’d tell him to take it if he asked me about it,” said Deila. “It’s a fantastic job and I would do it 100 times again if I got the chance. I would never, ever regret it. It is a privilege to be the Celtic manager and I did everything I could to try and make it right. I know for a fact that when I wanted the job two years ago, I was not alone. So it is a very attractive job, because this is a special club.
“It is very, very tough to get into the Champions League but it is possible. Why should Malmö be there and not Celtic? We could and should have beaten Malmö in the qualifiers this season. We were better than them a lot of the time over the two games. But it is small details and you have to have a little bit of luck.”
Deila was asked if victory over Malmö in the play-off round this season, a tie Celtic lost 4-3 on aggregate after leading 2-0 and 3-1, could have altered his fate at the club.
“Yes. I think so,” he said. “Small details can change things. It could have been different but, again, it’s a lot of ifs.”
Deila believes history will offer the definitive verdict on whether his time as manager, which he hopes will end with a second Premiership title win next month, was a relative success and whether expectations placed on him were too high.
“The future will show that,” he said. “I’ve been here for two years, I’ve gone into the expectation of the club and it’s always tough to take over when the club has won a lot and been very successful before you came. If a manager comes into the same surroundings and goes into the Champions League and wins the treble, then fantastic. But, again, I think it’s more difficult to keep consistency because of the differences now in salaries and also levels of player when you compare Celtic with big clubs elsewhere.”