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Quitting stuttering Celtic isn't an option for Ronny Deila


By Ronnie Esplin

Ronny Deila faced up to increasing pressure by declaring that he "will never quit" as Celtic boss.

The Norwegian's tenure is under scrutiny after the 2-1 defeat to Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Wednesday night cut the Hoops' lead over the Dons at the top of the Premiership table to three points.

It was another poor result for the champions after hopes of a domestic treble ended with a 3-1 loss to Ross County at Hampden Park on Sunday.

The Belfast Telegraph revealed earlier this week that Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill will be among the candidates for the job if Deila goes in the summer, or before it.

Deila said he had not considered his position overnight and when asked if there might be a set of circumstances which might make him consider quitting, he replied: "I will never quit of course. This is a fantastic job and I see big opportunities here.

"The dream is to get into the Champions League. This is a Champions League club and we have to win the league and we are three points ahead. Everything is in our hands and there is a lot to play for.

"We will stick to what we believe in, which we have done well a lot of times, and fight to win the league. We are in this together, everybody is one group. I talk to the players, the board and Peter (Lawwell, chief executive) and we are in this together and we are going to turn this around.

"The most important thing is that everyone, the fans, everybody stands together and we are one team."

Deila, however, appears to accept he has lost the confidence of many Celtic fans who previously hailed him as a hero.

The former Stromsgodset boss, speaking ahead of the William Hill Scottish Cup tie against Lowland League side East Kilbride on Sunday, said: "Of course I want to be loved as well, as everybody else (does).

"But I understand that people are irritated and want better results but as I said, I believe we can do this and we will fight the whole season.

"Everything is in our hands and I know the fans will stick with us because they are Celtic fans and that is going to be important for the rest of the season."

Deila (pictured) is looking for Celtic to return to the form they showed before the Ross County defeat where the champions won four league games and a Scottish Cup tie, which helped him win the league sponsors' manager of the month award.

He said: "We have to get back to where we were in January, play the system well, get a lot of opportunities, score goals and get consistency in performances.

"We need to get back on track and Sunday is a big opportunity.

"I know there is a lot of quality in this team and we are going to make it in the end."

Deila responded to our O'Neill story by saying "speculation is speculation".

But the Northern Ireland boss tops a list of possible successors with bookies offering odds of 4-1.

Next in the running is David Moyes (6-1).

Moyes tried his hand abroad after a dismal season in charge of Manchester United, following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. But despite a promising start with Real Sociedad, the Scot was sacked by the Spanish outfit last November.

The former Everton boss has been linked with a number of vacancies in England, but the Celtic job could tempt him.

Bookies also give Alan Stubbs a chance at 8-1. Stubbs has impressed in his first managerial role at Hibs.

The ex-Bolton, Celtic and Everton ace, who worked as a coach at Everton, was linked with the QPR job earlier this season after he led Hibs to the Championship play-offs last term.

Belfast Telegraph


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