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Friday 9 December 2016

Positive outlook works for Deilea

Celtic boss not worried by defensive blips ahead of crucial Malmo test

Stuart Armstrong celebrates scoring
Stuart Armstrong celebrates scoring
New Celtic signing Scott Allan is unveiled before the Parkhead faithful
Ronny Deila

Ronny Deila is looking for Celtic to take the best of Saturday's performance against Inverness into their Champions League play-off clash with Malmo on Wednesday night.

The Hoops cruised into a commanding and well-deserved 4-0 lead at Parkhead through goals from right-back Mikael Lustig, striker Leigh Griffiths and a second-half double from midfielder Stuart Armstrong.

However, some late slackness, with defender Dedryck Boyata particularly culpable, allowed Caley substitutes Ryan Christie and Dani Lopez to reduce the deficit.

The champions remain two points behind Hearts at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership as they turn their attention to Europe.

Ahead of the first leg against the Swedish side at Celtic Park, the Hoops boss said: "It is a warning, of course, the players know that. But what we have to take with us is the first 70 minutes, which I thought was very good.

"The whole team was very good, in the first half especially.

"We battered them and also out-played them and created chances. We should have had more goals but that is a positive thing."

The Norwegian, however, was quick to point out that he was not concerned about what he regards as defensive blips.

"That hasn't happened very often," he said. "It is the first time for a long, long time. That can always happen in football games and we got punished very hard."

The main talking point of the afternoon was Celtic's new signing Scott Allan even though he did not feature.

The 23-year-old midfielder was introduced to the Parkhead crowd before the match following Friday night's highly-publicised move from Hibernian on a four-year-deal for a reported fee of £275,000.

Armstrong welcomed the added competition to the midfield area. He said: "It is a great signing for the club.

"I had two or three years at Dundee United in the youth team with him and with Scotland Under-21s. He is a really good player with a lot of talent and that is what this club is all about."

Allan spoke about the "emotional experience" of walking out at Celtic Park as a Hoops player.

Afterwards, he told the club's official website: "Walking down the tunnel gives you goose bumps, just seeing the size of the stadium.

"Now I just can't wait to go out and perform. It was an unbelievable experience.

"It was an emotional experience. It was different class.

"I want to concentrate on my football and become a better player and I want to develop and get myself into the starting line-up.

"It was a no-brainer coming here. It's a huge club, playing in the Premiership again and on the European stage and it is a chance to play and train with great players.

"I just want to thank the Celtic supporters for my welcome and I want them to know I'll always remember it. Now I can hopefully give them some good moments on the pitch."

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