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Ronny Deila shrugs off Rangers' rise into the top flight

By Ronnie Esplin

Ronny Deila claims Rangers' promotion to the Scottish Premiership will have no big impact on his plans for Celtic next season.

The Hoops' traditional rivals clinched the Championship and a return to the top flight after a four-year absence with a 1-0 win over Dumbarton at Ibrox on Tuesday, with midfielder Andy Halliday immediately stating that he expects to be challenging the Parkhead side for the title.

The Scottish Cup semi-final meeting between the two clubs at Hampden Park on Sunday week will allow early comparisons to be made but, meanwhile, Deila is focusing only on keeping Celtic at the top of the table.

Ahead of the trip to Motherwell today, the Norwegian was asked in what way Rangers' promotion might affect Celtic.

"It doesn't affect us so much," he said. "They have shown they are good enough to be in the top division and if it's Hibs, Falkirk or Rangers we'll be ready for it, that's how it is."

Asked if he expected Mark Warburton's side to be title challengers, he replied: "We'll see, it is too early to say something about other teams. I've got a lot of other things to think about.

"This is something you can keep on thinking about in the media and I will answer next season."

Celtic can go eight points clear of Aberdeen if they win at Fir Park.

The Dons failed to turn up the heat in the title race when they missed the opportunity to cut Celtic's lead to just two points as they lost 2-1 to Hearts.

Juanma Delgado scored twice after Simon Church's opener.

Belfast Telegraph


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