Deila wants performances to draw crowds to Celtic

AT A confirmation as he awaits confirmation. That is the potential scenario in which Ronny Deila could find himself come Saturday afternoon. Should his team prevail at home against Dundee tomorrow night, then a first Celtic title will be spiriting its way to the Norwegian in the event of Aberdeen failing to win at Tannadice the following day. By that stage of the weekend, Deila will be back in his homeland for the confirmations of his 15-year-old twin daughters Thale and Live.

With the right combination of results, Celtic could be celebrating this weekend. Picture: SNS
With the right combination of results, Celtic could be celebrating this weekend. Picture: SNS

“It will be a bit strange but in a good way. I’m very happy that the fixture list worked out the way it did,” Deila said. “Now I can fly home on Saturday morning to attend the big occasion. Of course, I will follow the results on the internet. It will be a very good night if we become champions but we must do our job first on Friday.

“I am looking forward to every game now. We have consistency in our performances, although we had a dip at Tannadice on Sunday. I gave the players two days off and they have come back and trained very well so I expect a high-energy display from them. Hopefully, the stadium will be as full as possible and there will be a great atmosphere so that it will be a memorable night.”

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Memorable, high-octane occasions played out in front of heaving crowds at Celtic Park have been relatively thin on the ground in Deila’s first season. There is no question that the club’s followers have been won round both by their manager’s methods and mission to produce a team that is tigerish and takes the attack constantly to their opponents.

As well as his desire to see his team play more Champions League encounters, score more goals and win more trophies in his second season, Deila is honesty enough to admit he also wants more people to watch his team take visitors apart within their own environs.

“It’s also a goal to see the attendances grow,” he said. “I want people to come to the stadium and enjoy what they’re seeing. I want them to enjoy the team and to create the kind of atmosphere we get away from home with 10,000. If you have 60,000 like that then it’s so hard to play against. Celtic Park should be our castle — nobody should beat us at Celtic Park. We want to make Celtic Park a place they really, really hate to come to.”

All other Premiership sides really, really resent Celtic because the club’s fundamentals make them an insurmountable obstacle in any league campaign. Whenever the title is clinched by a Celtic manager, Deila understands that the perception of outsiders is this ought to bring a sense of relief rather than joy. To a person in that position, the championship is the minimum required to stay in post.

“There is a little relief in there but you also have to enjoy football and enjoy winning and I have worked really hard at that,” he said. “Ok, you can say that Celtic should win every game they play but it isn’t like that. However, if we win the rest of our games then we will have more than 90 points, which is a good performance for our first year together.

“I will be very happy with that. It’s also important to say that Aberdeen have been great this season – they have won consistently, too. We have done well and I will have a good feeling about that afterwards but when we lose any game here it’s a little like it was when Stromsgodset went out of the cup in the first or second round – it’s a disaster if you don’t win and, if you do, you’re expected to. But that’s something you have to deal with when you’re at Celtic”

Deila will deal with his first close-season break in Scotland as he did these down times during his Stromsgodset tenure – by refusing to switch off even when he is relaxing on a beach. “You always have to reflect on what you are doing and try to improve,” he said. “I’ve learned so many things and that’s why it is important to get away on vacation and think about what’s been done well and what can be done better.

“That’s when I will make the plans for next season. I will have conversations with all the players and come back with a document which makes clear what the next stage for the team is. I am thinking all the time, I’ve done that for the last seven or eight years. I have to be the leader so I will come back with a document for them all.”

In Deila’s post, that could only be termed a greenprint for success. he would surely confirm that.