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Thursday 8 December 2016

Pressure on Deila after loss to Ross

Celtic boss 'not worried' about his job after semi defeat

Ronny Deila Photo: Reuters
Ronny Deila Photo: Reuters

Celtic manager Deila took responsibility for another semi-final disappointment, after yesterday's shock 3-1 Scottish League Cup semi-final defeat to Ross County at Hampden Park.

Celtic were knocked out of the William Hill Scottish Cup at the last-four stage by Inverness last season - but when asked if he was worried about his job, he replied: "I'm not worried about anything. I've got big ambitions and I'm as disappointed as everyone else.

"Cups are tough things as you saw last year and you see this year as well.

"Things can happen in one game and it happened again. We went out and we are very disappointed.

"But there is still a lot to play for. I see a team that can be really good here and I'm going to work really hard to get us where we want."

Deila claimed goalkeeper Craig Gordon had been blocked for County's second goal which followed a corner.

He said: "I think we started very well. The first 10 minutes was very good. We created three or four chances and we scored a beautiful goal.

"We had everything in our hands and then of course the red card changed everything again. Playing 80 minutes with 10 men made it hard for us.

"In my opinion it was a clear free-kick on Craig Gordon. He was taken out of the goal and he couldn't come back to it. Having said that it was poor defending from us and we got blocked out in the marking but in my opinion it was a free-kick to us.

"Then we have to go forward and they get one counter-attack and score. That made it hard for us."

Meanwhile, Ross County boss Jim McIntyre feared a thrashing by Celtic after the Hoops took a first-minute lead.

Winger Gary Mackay-Steven scored before a minute had elapsed and McIntyre thought of the 8-1 hammering Ronny Deila's men had handed out to Hamilton in the Ladbrokes Premiership recently.

As the Highland club wobbled, goalkeeper Scott Fox had a couple of saves before Hoops defender Efe Ambrose was sent off by referee Craig Thomson in the 13th minute for fouling striker Alex Schalk in the box.

Martin Woods levelled from the penalty spot and it turned out to be the turning point in the game as Celtic's hopes of a treble ended.

Staggies defender Paul Quinn, making his second debut for County after joining last week following his release from Aberdeen, headed the underdogs into the lead three minutes after the interval with Schalk adding a third in the 63rd minute with a thunderous drive.

Fox saved a Leigh Griffiths penalty as the Staggies battled with some determination for their place in the March 13 final against Hibernian. Asked how he felt about losing such an early goal, an "absolutely delighted" McIntyre added: "It was a fantastic result, but it will mean a lot more if we go on and win it."

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