Ronny Deila: Title win will keep me at Celtic

CELTIC manager Ronny Deila said last night that he believed a title win should secure him a third season in charge. The Norwegian has previously accepted he would not deserve to remain in post were the league lost to Aberdeen.

Gary Mackay-Steven (right) opens the scoring for Celtic. Picture: SNS
Gary Mackay-Steven (right) opens the scoring for Celtic. Picture: SNS

A patchy 3-0 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle yesterday allowed his team to open up a six-point gap over Derek McInnes’s men. With that lead, the subject of his job security could be flipped and Deila was asked if he felt he would deserve to stay on in the event of winning the league. He concurred.

“I really, really expect to be here next season, and that’s what I want of course,” he said. “There is so much to do here and it’s a very exciting team coming through now with a lot of young talented players. Together with the experienced ones as well, things can be very, very good.”

The Celtic manager became slightly tetchy when then asked if he had received any “assurances” over his position. That has become delicate in the wake of two failed attempts to reach the Champions League and the regression witnessed this season in the form of a winless Europa League group campaign and a treble-ending collapse that brought a 3-1 loss to Ross County in the recent League Cup semi-final.

“You don’t get any assurances in football but what we have is communication, and we communicate very well,” he said. “But this question comes every week now and it’s getting tiring to talk about. I know it’s interesting for you but you tell me it’s about results and now we are winning. You should keep with that then.”

Celtic could establish a nine-point lead over Aberdeen this week, with Deila’s men travelling to Hamilton on Friday for a televised fixture that will take them within 11 games and 11 weeks of the conclusion of the Prem-iership campaign. Deila, though, did not bite when he was asked when he felt his team now had “control” of a title race that sees them chasing a fifth straight championship success.

“I don’t feel anything, there is still a long way to go. We are in a good situation but if you start losing games it will become very even again. If we win games the others need to cope with that, which will be tough. We just can’t do anything about the other teams.”

The victory represented a fifth straight home win since the loss to Motherwell but the Celtic faithful aren’t exactly in raptures over the displays that have brought many of these wins, though they were perked by the introductions of Scott Allan, Ryan Christie and Patrick Roberts late on yesterday.

“I hate losing at home, I’m not used to it,” Deila added. “Before I came I hadn’t lost at home in three-and-a-half years. We want to excite the fans too. We are scoring a lot of goals now but still we have things to work on in our build-up play which will make us better.”