| 11.6°C Belfast

Celtic manager Ronny Deila hails his side's strength in depth


Celtic manager Ronny Deila

Celtic manager Ronny Deila


Celtic manager Ronny Deila

Ronny Deila acknowledged that his "big and solid squad" is paying dividends following Celtic's convincing 3-0 Scottish Premiership win over Dundee United at Parkhead on Saturday.

For the fourth match in 14 days against United, the Hoops boss changed his front four, albeit one alteration was enforced as Anthony Stokes was suspended.

After being ineligible in the three cup ties against their former club, Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong returned along with striker John Guidetti and midfielder Stefan Johansen was back from a one-match ban, as Leigh Griffiths, James Forrest and Kris Commons dropped out.

First-half goals from Mackay-Steven, Guidetti and defender Jason Denayer took the Scottish League Cup winners one step closer to the treble.

With Aberdeen drawing 1-1 at Dundee in their lunchtime kick-off, Celtic went five points clear at the top with a game in hand over the second-placed Dons.

Having won nine out of 10 league games this year and with a Scottish Cup semi-final against Inverness to look forward to next month, Deila is enjoying the ability to make seamless changes to his team.

The Norwegian said: "It is different from what we were talking about in September and October so we are going the right way.

"It is important to see what kind of effect three games in six days has on teams. We do that all the time and it is very hard to do.

"You saw that Dundee United were tired. We had more energy and we could switch the squad as well.

"It is important now to get some rest then get back to training and keep that up so that we can hopefully win the treble.

"If we can do it then it will be a big achievement.

"We are in a good place. There is still a lot to fight for and many games to play but everything is in our hands."

Celtic: Gordon, Ambrose, Denayer, van Dijk, Izaguirre, Brown, Bitton, Mackay-Steven, Johansen, Armstrong, Guidetti. Substitutions: Scepovic (Guidetti, 70 mins), Commons (Armstrong, 70 mins).

Dundee Utd: Cierzniak, McGowan, Souttar, Fojut, Dixon, Paton, Rankin, Butcher, Telfer, Spittal, Ciftci. Substitutions: Dow (Butcher, 46 mins), Muirhead (Telfer, 77 mins), Anier (Spittal, 77 mins).

Man of the match: Jason Denayer

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Kevin Clancy

Belfast Telegraph