RONNY Deila has admitted that concerns over the state of the Hampden pitch could cause him to have a rethink over the personnel he selects for today’s League Cup semi-final clash with Rangers.
The Celtic manager appeared unimpressed after walking across the surface on Wednesday at the press day. His lack of faith in the surface would have been further weakened by the manner in which the threadbare field cut up during yesterday’s first semi-final between Dundee United and Aberdeen.
“The pitch might influence my team selection,” the Celtic manager said. “I have to take every condition into my head. The pitch is not the best so that will be a factor. The fact there is a game on Saturday means it will be worse on Sunday. But a good team can win on a good, bad or artificial pitch. And we are a good team. We have to be aware of it.
“I pick a team from various factors. I look to the players who have experience of this fixture, previous performances, attitude in training, but also the opponent and what the game is all about. Experience is very important in a game like this, it’s a major part.”
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara also criticised the pitch after his side’s 2-1 win over Aberdeen. “I thought we would see a lot more quality,” he said. “You can see at times when we’re breaking, it looks like a poor pass when it’s bobbling up. I saw [Derek McInnes, Aberdeen’s manager] getting frustrated early in the game too, like myself. You can see yourself how hard it was to run with it – you could see even when they moved their standing foot, it was cutting up behind them.
“It should make it interesting tomorrow! If Rangers were to win it it would be one of the biggest shocks for a while. But the pitch might level things out a wee bit.”