Celtic captain Scott Brown: We failed ourselves and Ronny Deila
Celtic captain Scott Brown has admitted that the players have let themselves down as well as the club's departing manager Ronny Deila.
Deila will leave at the end of the season after two years in charge with former boss Neil Lennon, Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill and Republic of Ireland assistant Roy Keane linked to the post.
Celtic can wrap up their fifth Scottish League title in a row on Saturday against Hearts and although the club is very much facing into a new era under whoever it is that takes charge next season, Brown maintained that the players have to take their share of responsibility for what has been another underwhelming season at Parkhead.
"It's whatever the board decide. It's not for me to say that Roy, or even myself if I can chuck my name in there," Brown, in Dublin to promote Celtic's pre-season International Champions Cup match against Barcelona in July, smiled when asked about the possibility of Keane taking over as manager.
"We didn't get into the Champions League at the start of the season. That's huge for the club. That puts us on global networks everywhere. It's great funds for the club as well.
"It's always hard to take. The last two years we've not done that. I think if you look at last year, we were in the semi-final of the Cup, the handball incident, we could have went on and won the treble. Everyone goes down as living legends.
"That doesn't happen overnight. Everything slowly seems to change. The press got on top of him (Deila) and I think he's made that decision for us really - to try and take the pressure off. We know that we've let ourselves down. We've let him down and we're just sad to see him go.
"Next season is going to be bigger. More people will start watching the Rangers-Celtic games.
You miss those games. They're big ones, they're huge and the expectation to win them is something that's been lacking in the last few seasons."