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Friday 2 December 2016

Deila hits back at Celtic critics ahead of Dons tie

Celtic manager Ronnie Deila
Celtic manager Ronnie Deila

Manager Ronny Deila hit back at his critics in a remarkable press conference rant at Celtic's Lennoxtown training ground.

The Hoops boss came under pressure after losing 3-1 to Molde in their Europa League game which left the Scottish champions at the bottom of Group A after three matches.

Despite returning from Norway to beat Dundee United 5-0 in the Ladbrokes Premiership and move four points clear of Saturday's opponents Aberdeen - and then following up with a 2-1 win at Hearts to clinch a League Cup semi-final place - there is a widespread and ongoing debate about Deila's future at the Parkhead club.

Former Scotland and Aberdeen defender Alex McLeish, who won the treble as Rangers boss in 2003, was quoted as saying, "even if you win domestically just now it might not be enough," while former Celtic and Ireland goalkeeper Pat Bonner said: "I don't think that Celtic are getting better in Europe."

Asked about ex-players who have commented on what he had to achieve this season, the Norwegian said: "I have to think about the people inside this club. "Celtic have been unbelievably successful for many years and everyone around Celtic wants to hurt us and find negative things and that is something this club has to cope with all the time.

"What is important is that this club sticks together. (We have won) four league titles in a row and we won the League Cup last year.

"The club has been in Europe for many, many years, they are the pride of Scotland in Europe and so many positive things are happening around here.

"We are in the semi-final, we're going to play against Ajax, Fenerbahce and Molde in the Europa League.

"Where are the other Scottish teams? I don't know. I haven't seen them in Europe. The national team is not in Europe either - they aren't going to the Euros.

"Europe is tough but we have done it before and we're going to get back there, to the Champions League hopefully."

Deila believed the club's critics were too extreme in their opinions. "All the people who are talking have had good times in their career and bad times," he added.

"They talk to promote themselves and to get headlines."

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