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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Ronny Deila happy to let forgotten man Tom Rogic take his chances for Celtic

Celtic's Tom Rogic celebrates scoring
Celtic's Tom Rogic celebrates scoring

Ronny Deila admitted he had no idea who Tom Rogic was when he first moved to Celtic – but has now hinted the Australian could have played his way into the Hoops’ Champions League line-up.

The 22-year-old netted his first goal for the club while making his first Hoops start in almost two years as Deila’s team beat Partick 2-0 at Firhill. The £400,000 signing from Central Coast Mariners has not been seen in a Celtic starting XI since the infamous League Cup shocker to Morton back in September 2013. He was sent back to his homeland for a loan spell with Melbourne Victory ahead of last year’s World Cup but fitness issues ruled him out of the Socceroos’ squad for Brazil.

And he was a permanent absentee in Deila’s first season in Glasgow as a string of injury problems left him unable to play a part.

But Deila has been impressed by a player he confessed he knew little about since he returned to training and the Norwegian manager could now throw him into action as Celtic aim to qualify for the Champions League group stages.

Speaking after the win – sealed by Kris Commons’ second-half strike – Deila said: “Tom was very good for the first 40 minutes. You can see what kind of talent he is with his touch of the ball and awareness. 

“He has a lot of things that he can give to the team and I think we will see much more of him.

“When I came here I hadn’t heard anything about him, so I didn’t know who he was. He was injured the whole time for almost a year last season but once we got him started again I saw that he had something special. I told him he would never leave this club before he gets a real chance and now he is showing that he deserves that chance.”

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