The Celtic manager was speaking after watching his side sweep Dundee aside with a 5-0 victory that heaps the pressure on Aberdeen today. If Derek McInnes’ side drop any points against United, then Deila’s first title in his maiden season as Celtic manager will have been secured.
He will, however, be elsewhere, having already made plans to be at the confirmation of his 15 year-old daughters, Thale and Live. “I will get all the messages in on my phone,” he said. “I have a speech to make, you always do when there is a confirmation. I’m more nervous about that than anything else.
“The players have a couple of days off so they’ll be with their families. They will do what they want to do to celebrate [if Aberdeen fail to win].”
Deila said that he would prefer to win the title before next Sunday, when Celtic face Aberdeen at Pittodrie. He is determined to see it confirmed at the earliest opportunity, even if it means he is absent at the crucial moment.
“We want to win it as soon as possible,” he said. “We’ll see tomorrow if Dundee United can take points off Aberdeen but if not we’ll do everything to show we are the champions next weekend. You can never expect anything. Aberdeen will want to push us all the way. We will see whether or not they can do it.”
Celtic did what they had to do and more last night against a Dundee side who, save for a promising opening spell, looked a poor second best. These were difficult circumstances for the visitors, who were 2-0 down by half-time after goals from Leigh Griffiths and Scott Brown.
Second-half goals from Kris Commons, from the penalty spot, substitute James Forrest and Nir Bitton, who swept a shot into the top corner from 40 yards, made Celtic’s win even more emphatic.
The leaders are now 11 points clear of Aberdeen, who have today’s game against United in hand. After that, they each have three games left, including one against each other. “It was a good performance,” said Deila of last night’s win. “We started to get used to the way they were set up and we were patient. We scored five beautiful goals and it makes me happy.
“Nir has tried it [scoring from far-out] many times this year, the players have been laughing at him for a long time so he bounced back today. It was a nice goal.
“Through the whole season different players have scored. Some of the goals today were very good. The second goal was very good passing and movement. The third was a penalty but the run from Darnell [Fisher], we need more of that.
“We scored in different ways so I’m happy today. We have shown consistency since Christmas. We’ve lost one game in the league since then and had many solid performances and hardly conceded goals.”
Dundee manager Paul Hartley admitted his side had been pitched against an irresistible force in Deila’s champions elect.
“We came up against a rampant Celtic,” he said. “They were on top form. We were up against top quality and movement. The first goal was always going to be important. You try to stay in the game as long as you can. But we’ve got to hold our hands up, we were beaten by a class team.
“You’re always looking at the clock here. Thirty minutes in you think you’re doing ok. We should have done better at the first goal, we should have been stronger defending it.
“Celtic should be deserved champions, they showed their quality.”