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Ronny Deila feels no pressure to add quality after humbling

By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic manager Ronny Deila said there is no new movement on the transfer front ahead of the Bhoys' crunch clash with Maribor. New signing Aleksandar Tonev, a Bulgarian midfielder on loan from Aston Villa, was not on the bench in the Highland capital, while progress over Wakaso Mubarak's move to Parkhead is also slow.

Deila made the call to switch 10 players for Saturday's Scottish Premiership trip to Inverness following the midweek performance against Maribor, in a bid to keep players fresh for the return leg in Glasgow tomorrow.

When asked whether any new faces would be joining the squad imminently, Deila was coy on the club's transfer dealings.

"There is still a lot of paperwork to do with Mubarak," he said.

"It is very early to talk about that (other transfers) and we have to assess all the team and see what we need. There will be no players coming in that can affect the game on Tuesday."

Deila added that Swedish player Stefan Selakovic was just one of the players that he had been looking at.

The Celtic frontline drew a blank against a stubborn Caley Thistle defence, with Deila replacing Teemu Pukki at half-time and substituting Leigh Griffiths with 20 minutes to go.

The manager believes a lack of game time may have affected their sharpness in front of goal, explaining. "You have to think about these things and if you don't play then you are going to lose your fitness. It's important to see where people stand."

Meanwhile, Inverness manager John Hughes felt his side probably scored too early to make things comfortable for themselves. The hosts netted on 65 minutes, leaving a substantial period left in the game for the Bhoys to find an equaliser.

"You need to score against Celtic in the 85th minute because for the last 20 minutes or so it was like the Alamo, but we closed up and didn't let them back through," he said.

"Guys like Gary Warren, Josh Meekings and Ross Draper wanted to get their head on the ball.

"Nick Ross went to place his shot late on when he should have hit it with his laces, but I was delighted with the three points."

Deila admitted the number of changes may have been too great, but felt the sacrifice would prove worthwhile if they beat Maribor on Tuesday.

"Maybe there were too many new players," he said.

"There were probably too many at the same time and we didn't get the performance that we wanted. We now have to focus on Tuesday.

"You will see on Tuesday if I regret making too many changes, but of course it will be worth it if we win."

Norwegian midfielder Jo Inge Berget was one of those left out at the weekend and after scoring twice in his first appearance at Celtic Park, he is looking for a repeat of that and a victory against Maribor that would secure Champions League qualification for the Hoops.

"Celtic are a big club and a big club in Norway as well, so I have seen some of the team's games before in the Champions League," he said.

"It's a dream for all footballers to play in the Champions League. All players watch the tournament when it's on, and so that's where you want to play, and face the best players in the world.

"My first game at Celtic Park went very well for me and the team and hopefully it will be the same on Tuesday."

Belfast Telegraph


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