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Saturday 10 December 2016

Deila: Ciftci needs a goal to get up and running

Celtic’s Nadir Ciftci
Celtic’s Nadir Ciftci

Ronny Deila believes a breakthrough goal will get Nadir Ciftci's Celtic career up and running.

The £1.5million summer signing from Dundee United was again preferred to last season's top scorer Leigh Griffiths for the second-leg of the Hoops' Champions League qualifier against Stjarnan on Wednesday night.

Ciftci was substituted in his debut at Celtic Park last week in the 2-0 win over the Icelandic part-timers.

And the 23-year-old made way for Tom Rogic at the Samsung Vollurinn stadium in the 4-1 win which took the Scottish champions into the third qualifier on a 6-1 aggregate where they meet Azerbaijan champions Qarabag, with the first game in Glasgow next week.

Griffiths, who scored a hat-trick in the weekend's friendly win over Eibar in Spain, came off the bench to grab the third goal with two minutes remaining to remind Deila of his talents.

However, with only two competitive games played, Deila is relaxed about Ciftci - who is being banned for the first six games of the domestic season after being found guilty of biting Dundee's Jim McAlister on the final day of last season - and positive about his striking options.

The Parkhead boss said: "We win and lose together as a team, he (Griffiths) come on and did well and we won the game. Nadir had his chances, he needs to just put the ball into the net now.

"It is important to get the first one and then he will get more.

"It will come. He started training later than the others so he needs a little bit more time than the rest.

"But I have a good problem up front."

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