Ronny Deila: Draw shows Celtic can compete in Europe

Ronny Deila claims Celtic showed in their 1-1 draw with Fenerbahce in Istanbul last night that they can make an impact in Europe.

Celtic substitute Kris Commons celebrates his equaliser with Nadir Ciftci in Istanbul. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Celtic substitute Kris Commons celebrates his equaliser with Nadir Ciftci in Istanbul. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

The Parkhead club had travelled to Turkey guaranteed to finish bottom of Group A after taking just two points from five fixtures, but they held their own in the first half and only went behind in the 39th minute when goalkeeper Craig Gordon’s mistake allowed winger Lazar Markovic to score.

Fenerbahce midfielder Diego, booked early in the first half after an altercation with Celtic’s Stefan Johansen, was shown a straight red in the 67th minute for a kick at the Norwegian, before substitute Kris Commons levelled with a header as the visitors finished strongly.

The home side join the section’s surprise package Molde in the knockout stages with Ajax third, but Deila was encouraged and is confident of keeping his job next season for another tilt at Europe.

“They showed today that we can get results,” Deila said. “Fenerbahce are a very good football team.

“We have drawn 3-3 on aggregate against them and we were very close with Ajax as well, a team that has been in the Champions League. They are big clubs.

“Against Molde, we did well but they showed they have been the best team in the group, but of course I have confidence in this group that we can do it and we are going to show it.

“It is tough to come here. We met a very good team and I am very happy with getting a result away from home.

“I have confidence. There are small things that we want to do. My philosophy is not so different to what Fenerbahce do or Ajax, it is to do things good enough.

“This year we conceded too many easy goals but we have scored goals, so it is small things that we have to be better at to get the results we want.

“Overall it was a good performance and a good result.”

Deila claims the fear of giving away a penalty with all its possible ramifications distracted Gordon when he came out of his goal, only for the ball to run through his legs to Markovic, on loan from Liverpool, to slide the ball in from a tight angle.

“It was a difficult situation,” the Norwegian said. “I think Craig put his legs out a little bit, maybe because he was afraid to give away a penalty.

“It went through his legs but that can happen in a game. But he had a couple of good saves as well so you have to take that into consideration.

“Kris did well and James Forrest as well came on and did some positive things, Tom Rogic as well. We had three good substitutes.”

It is the first time Celtic have gone through a European group campaign without winning a single match. They drew three and lost three.