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Deila confident Celtic will give him time to achieve glory in Europe

By Ronnie Esplin

Ronny Deila expects to be given time by the Celtic board to make his mark in the Champions League.

Another European inquest got under way after the Hoops were beaten 2-1 by Norwegian outfit Molde at Parkhead on Thursday night to further damage Europa League hopes.

The Scottish champions are bottom of Group A with two points from four games and need to beat Ajax at home and Fenerbahce away to reach the knockout stages.

Hoops manager Deila has passed up on three chances to make the Champions League since taking over from Neil Lennon in 2014 - Celtic were reinstated in his first season before losing out on the play-off to Maribor - and there is an ongoing debate as to whether the Celtic board should give him another chance next season, in the likely event that they win the Ladbrokes Premiership again.

Lennon failed to reach the Champions League in his first two full seasons as boss before leading the Hoops to the last 16 where they were knocked out by Juventus.

Ahead of tomorrow's trip to Ross County in the Ladbrokes Premiership, the Norwegian said: "When you see the history of this club they have had a manager before here who has struggled in Europe in the beginning and made it right.

"And they stand by their manager. That's what I expect with me as well.

"I really want to be here. I love being here. I love the club and the fans, everything and I am really ambitious. And I am sorry, I assure you, I haven't slept a lot last night but I see talent and progress in the team.

"I know we need to get better but we are still not out of the group. People can say it will be hard but it is possible. A victory against Ajax and we are suddenly into it again and we can do something in Turkey."

Asked whether he had been given assurances by the Celtic board, he replied: "I feel quite comfortable in things but you never know in football.

"What we need is for things to go forward, that we have a whole club that believes in what we're doing."

The former Stromsgodset boss presented his case for reaching the Champions League next season.

"I know what I've done in my past," he said. I know all my teams have progressed. I know what I'm building, I know what I want and all the players know how we want to do it.

"I've seen managers before having time and then suddenly they make it and I'm going to do it as well, together with the players and the staff."

While Deila believes two wins in the final two Group A games is possible, Nir Bitton, sent off in the second half against Molde to leave him suspended for the visit of Ajax along with fellow midfielder Stefan Johansen, is less optimistic.

The Israel international claimed Celtic were once again punished for repeating mistakes on the European stage.

"We make the same mistakes every game in Europe," he said.

"Teams who play us create too many chances against us. When you play in the Scottish league sometimes you don't get punished for that but you get punished in Europe.

"When you lose two games against Molde, with all due respect, you can't think of winning against Ajax and Fenerbahce.

"But if we have the smallest chance to go through we will try do everything we can.

"You never know what can happen in football and we will see."

Belfast Telegraph


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