Celtic: McGregor is Deila’s hero on his debut

Ronny Deila’s tenure as Celtic boss began with a narrow but deserved 1-0 win in the first leg of their Champions League second round qualifier against KR Reykjavik, thanks to a late goal from debutant Callum McGregor.

Callum McGregor celebrates scoring the only goal of the game in Reykjavik with his team-mate Mikael Lustig. Picture: SNS

The Norwegian’s first competitive game since taking over from Neil Lennon last month took place in the somewhat surreal surroundings of the KR-vollur stadium in Iceland, which housed only around 1,500 fans in its one stand, approximately 200 of whom were away supporters.

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After 83 minutes of frustration McGregor, the Scotland Under-21 player, who was on loan at Notts County last season, turned past three players to fire in a low drive which found the net to the relief of those visiting fans and, no doubt, Deila.

“I’m happy with the performance. The first half was sleepy, the second half was better,” he said. “McGregor did well. I’m happy for him that he scored and I’m happy with the defence too. He deserved to play. I decided early in the week. People have to develop and, if they get better ,they stay here.

“I love to win and I’m here to win but it’s also about the performance. We want to play a certain way and we deserved more today.”