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Celtic boss Ronny Deila confident Hoops will win title despite slip


Hard fought: Celtic’s Colin Kazim-Richards at Dens Park last night

Hard fought: Celtic’s Colin Kazim-Richards at Dens Park last night


Hard fought: Celtic’s Colin Kazim-Richards at Dens Park last night

Celtic boss Ronny Deila insists his side remain well positioned to reclaim their Ladbrokes Premiership crown despite another slip-up against Dundee.

The reigning champions were hoping to stretch their lead at the summit to seven points but the Hoops left the door open for Aberdeen as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Dens Park.

The stalemate means Deila's side have a five-point lead over the Dons with six games to play.

They must, though, take on Derek McInnes' side one final time after the split and defeat could see the title race go right to the wire.

But the Parkhead manager is refusing to panic after missing another opportunity to stretch away from the Pittodrie challengers.

Deila said: "We're still in a good position. We have to make ourselves ready for Motherwell on Saturday and work really hard to get the three points there.

"It's always disappointing to lose points but there are a lot of games left and we just have to keep on going.

"Of course we have the key in our hands. Everything is up to ourselves."

Celtic started brightly but failed to make the most effective use of on-loan Manchester City forward Patrick Roberts, who scored two fine goals against Hearts on Saturday.

They hit the post just before the break when Stefan Johansen's strike bounced off Leigh Griffiths but they looked anxious the longer the match went and also had goalkeeper Craig Gordon to thank for a couple of timely interventions.

Griffiths has hit 35 goals this season but he drew a blank for the third game running.

His manager, however, expects him to come good, saying: "We know he can score goals and he will do that in the rest of the season, I'm sure of that."

But the Celtic faithful - who booed their team off at the end - will be worried by the failure to shake off Aberdeen.

"It's a little bit disappointing," admitted the Norwegian, who confirmed Erik Sviatchenko will have a thigh injury scanned today after limping off midway through the second half.

He added: "Football is about emotions and, when you don't get the victory, the fans get irritated."

DUNDEE: Bain, Konrad, Etxabeguren, O'Dea, Kerr, McGowan, Stewart, Ross, Holt, Hemmings (Wighton 45), Loy (Harkins 62).

Subs not used: Meggatt, Mitchell, Rodríguez Pérez Reverte, Curran, Waddell.

CELTIC: Gordon, Lustig (Kazim-Richards 64), Boyata, Sviatchenko (Mulgrew 60), Tierney, Brown, Johansen, Roberts, Bitton, Mackay-Steven (Armstrong 88), Griffiths.

Subs not used: Commons, Fasan, McGregor, Forrest

Man of the match: Brown

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Kevin Clancy

Belfast Telegraph