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Dismal Ronny Deila had to leave Celtic after failing at home and abroad

Departing Ronny admits he did not achieve his aims as Moyes and Keane stay coy about taking on Celtic post

By Steven Beacom

Published 21/04/2016

Celtic manager Ronny Deila during the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park
Celtic manager Ronny Deila during the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park
Happier days: Celtic celebrate winning the Scottish Premiership
Ronny Deila

Malmo, Ross County and finally Rangers. Big games for Celtic this season all ending with crushing defeats. Ronny Deila is regarded as a good man by those who know him in Glasgow but when he leaves at the end of the season, he'll be viewed as a failed manager.

And that's even though he will depart with back to back Scottish Premier League titles and a League Cup victory.

With Rangers not in the top flight during his spell in charge, that was the least Celtic fans and the board expected.

Not qualifying for the Champions League group stages in his two campaigns was a huge blow to the club financially -the defeat last August to Swedish side Malmo in the play-off stage of the competition was even harder to take than the embarrassing Europa League efforts that followed.

That took him close to the brink. The appalling performance in a Scottish League Cup semi against Ross County in January led him over it.

The loss in the last four of the Scottish Cup on Sunday to fierce rivals Rangers simply accelerated his exit with the club announcing yesterday that he would leave in the summer.

Currently eight points ahead of Aberdeen in the championship race with five games to go, Deila is almost certain to go out on a trophy high, but his reign will be remembered much more for the lows.

The 40-year-old Norwegian, who took over from Neil Lennon two years ago on a 12-month rolling contract, arrived from Stromsgodset as Ronny Who? In the proud history of the club, he is destined to become a footnote, admitting yesterday that he did not deliver what was required.

He said: "There have been some disappointments and times when we have not achieved what we had hoped for and I'm realistic and honest enough to admit that."

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell vowed to take the club forward with a new manager, stating: "Celtic has been the dominant club in Scotland for many years and I can assure our supporters we will do everything we can to ensure that Celtic continues to be the biggest and best in Scottish football and meets every challenge which lies ahead."

Former Manchester United manager David Moyes is the bookmakers' favourite to replace Deila, followed by former Hoops boss Lennon after his departure from Bolton.

While Lennon is keen on the job, Moyes kept his cards close to his chest last night saying: "Celtic's a brilliant club with an unbelievable fans base but I'll wait until the summer before deciding my future."

Asked specifically on Sky Sports if the job interested him, Moyes replied: "A lot of jobs will interest me."

Another candidate, Republic of Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane, was also non-committal. When quizzed about the post, he said: "I've two jobs, ITV and Ireland! Nah, no. No comment."

The ex-Manchester United and Celtic star, previously in charge at Sunderland and Ipswich, did add though that a return to management did appeal in the future. He said: "I'm not going to be an assistant for the next 20 years."

Given that the Champions League qualifying process could start in the middle of July for Celtic, the club will carefully consider making a move for anyone like Keane, Republic manager Martin O'Neill or Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill who will be going to the Euro 2016 finals, but it is not out of the question.

United number two Ryan Giggs and Celtic legend Henrik Larsson have also been mentioned as potential replacements for Deila but the Swede says he is focusing on his club Helsingborgs, who have made a poor start to their season.

Belfast Telegraph

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