RONNY Deila insists Celtic will make the most of the Europa League after failing for the second successive season to get into the Champions League.
A 2-0 defeat by Malmo at the Swedbank stadion on Tuesday night saw the Scottish champions lose their play-off 4-3 on aggregate.
After passing up on two chances to get into European club football’s elite club competition last season - defeat by Maribor came after a reprieve against Legia Warsaw - Deila has again to settle for the less glamorous tournament.
But the Hoops boss, who claimed his players looked “frightened and scared” in Sweden, said: “It is a good competition and there are a lot of things we can learn from those matches.
“It is very important for Celtic as a club. We are a better team than last season but we weren’t tonight.
“But overall the performances this season have been better than last season.”
Leading 3-2 from the first leg of their play-off clash in Glasgow, the visitors fell behind in the 23rd minute to goal from Malmo skipper Markus Rosenberg, who was banned for the first game.
Parkhead midfielder Nir Bitton had the ball in the net from a corner only for Serbian referee Milorad Mazic to award a foul to Age Hareide’s side.
It appeared a harsh decision and it was compounded in the 54th minute when Malmo grabbed their second goal with a header from substitute Felipe Carvalho which Hoops defender Dedryck Boyata could only divert over the line.
The Norwegian claimed his side could not cope with the expectation but took full responsibility for the performance.
He said: “There is a lot of talk in Scotland about Celtic and the Champions League and that makes the games even bigger and it seemed like we didn’t cope with that pressure.
“It was not even close to the level we can be at.
“We looked very uncomfortable on the ball, we didn’t want the ball.
“I am a part of that, I am leader of this team. That is my responsibility and I am very disappointed.
“We have to learn from this, evaluate this and get stronger but it is a difficult lesson.”