CELTIC captain Scott Brown has described calls for Ronny Deila’s dismissal as “very harsh” and insists the manager retains the complete faith of a playing squad determined to help him answer his critics by winning the domestic treble this season.
In a campaign already blighted by failure in Europe, Deila has come under fresh scrutiny following Celtic’s 2-1 home defeat to Motherwell last weekend which saw their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership cut to one point.
Aberdeen could displace them at the summit if they beat Inverness at home on Saturday, ahead of Celtic’s potentially testing trip to face Hearts at Tynecastle the following day.
Unrest among a section of the Celtic support has now taken the form of an online petition calling on the club to sack Deila.
But skipper Brown, currently sidelined by a knee injury, is adamant the Norwegian coach is still the right man to lead Celtic to further success. “It’s very harsh,” said Brown when asked about the petition raised against Deila. “We are top of the league, we are a point clear of Aberdeen who are having a good season. We are still in both domestic cups. Yeah, we were disappointed with Europe but there is nothing we can do about that now. We just have to concentrate on the three tournaments that we are in.
“We know we aren’t playing the best right now but you go through patches like this and the support of the fans is vital.
“They are brilliant, they support us week in, week out, home and away. They give us 100 per cent and we give the same on the park.
“It just didn’t happen the other day against Motherwell. But we will bounce back from that and this is when you see what a team is all about.
“You use your squad, you use your players and the manager will do that wisely. He will get the best out of the bunch of lads that is there just now.
“Do I understand the frustration of the fans? You are never everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not. At the end of the day, we just have to win games and that’s what we will try to do.
“Whether we win the league by 20 points or five or six points, all that matters is we get it. That’s what we all want on our CV and we need to go further in the cups than we did last year too. If we can get that treble, all the stuff just now will be forgotten about.
“The players are definitely behind the manager. There are no problems in our dressing-room at all – with the manager or anyone else. We have a great relationship with the gaffer. He’s enthusiastic about the way we play and he wants to get better.
“We agree with that, we want to get better and it’s more about what we do on the park, than what he does. Whoever is out there has to play a lot better than we have been this season.”
Brown also shrugged off criticism of Celtic from Andy Walker, the club’s former striker and now Sky Sports pundit, who described their football under Deila as “dull and uninspiring”.
“Everyone has got their opinion and Andy’s definitely got his,” said Brown. “There’s a lot of people who listen to him and I’m sure there are a lot who don’t. I don’t listen to anyone.”
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