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John Collins says Celtic are progressing under Deila

By Ronnie Esplin

John Collins insists he can see improvement at Celtic as manager Ronny Deila finds himself under scrutiny ahead of the League Cup third-round clash with Hearts at Parkhead tonight.

The Norwegian has been criticised for some of his signings, team selections and results since taking over from Neil Lennon in the summer.

The Hoops were effectively knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers twice, leaving them in the Europa League, and have already dropped seven Premiership points in six matches.

Celtic's 1-1 home draw with Motherwell on Sunday, where Deila made six changes to his starting line-up, brought a fresh wave of criticism to the door of the former Stromsgodset boss.

However, his assistant manager Collins said: “When a new manager and new players come in it takes time for them to gel and to get to know each other, but when you are a big club, of course, you have to try to win the majority of matches and we know that.

“When you are Celtic manager or assistant manager you are always judged. That is the reality of the job. But obviously it takes time.

“A lot of new players have come in, a lot on loan and they have to adapt to Scottish football.

“They are working hard on the training pitch. It takes time, it is not going to be perfect right away but we see progress.”

On tonight’s clash, he said: “I would imagine the pressure is on us. The expectation is for the home team to win. I don't think it will be an open game from start to finish, maybe they will try to keep it tight early in the game.

“But it is up to us to try to control the game, create chances and put the ball into the back of the net.”

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