Celtic captain Scott Brown says they owe their manager a big performance to atone for the back-to-back defeats by Molde in the Europa League.
Ronny Deila has found himself under increasing pressure as the Scottish champions’ hopes of progressing from the group stage become slimmer and slimmer.
Although he received the backing of chief executive Peter Lawwell at Friday’s annual general meeting, Deila goes into Thursday’s match against Ajax knowing a victory will almost be certainly be required to maintain Celtic’s interest in the competition.
“Ajax is a huge game for us,” Brown said. “It’s make or break. If we don’t win we don’t go through, simple as that and we’ll only have ourselves to blame, [the players] that are on the park.”
Asked if it was unfair for pressure to be heaped on Deila, Brown said: “Definitely, because he’s not on the park. We’re the ones on the park. We’re the ones that should take the blame. He can only tell us what to do and show us what to do in training. We have to perform on the park and we didn’t do that in the two games against Molde.”
Celtic have concerns over the fitness of both Brown and Kris Commons for the Ajax match.
Commons missed yesterday’s goalless draw with Kilmarnock due to the combination of a hamstring complaint and illness.
Brown, back in the side after missing four games with a knee injury, appeared to struggle near the end against Killie.
Deila said: “I asked him [Brown] and he said it was just a knock, so I think that will be good, it is nothing to do with what he had before.”
On Commons, he said: “We will see on Tuesday how it is.”