Sunday 17 December 2017

Bhoys have no excuses says Deila

Ronny Deila believes his Celtic side will have "no excuses" for failing to perform at the home of Scottish rugby in the second leg of their Champions League second qualifier against KR Reykjavik tonight.

The match is being played on a brand new pitch at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh as Parkhead is out of commission due its use in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Hoops are 1-0 up from the first leg in Iceland and will face either Polish side Legia Warsaw or Irish outfit Patrick's Athletic in the next qualifier if, as expected, they see off the Icelandic side.

After looking at the Murrayfield playing surface, a mixture of grass and artificial fibres, Deila gave it a ringing endorsement.

"It is fantastic," said the Norwegian. "It is a very good pitch. I don't think there will be any problem.

"The team will have the support and that is important and the pitch is perfect. So no excuses."

Charlie Mulgrew, skipper in the first leg in the absence of Scott Brown, who is out long term with a hamstring injury, was equally praiseworthy of the new pitch.

He said: "If you are not going to play at your home stadium then this is just the perfect place.

"Everything is perfect about it, the pitch, everything, it will be fine.

"Preparations have been fine and everything has gone smoothly. It is just another place to play, and it is a great place.

"We hope to get as many fans as we can in.

"We all know what Celtic fans are like in the Champions League for us so hopefully we can get them behind us tomorrow night."

The Hoops fans who make their way to the capital will see a familiar Celtic line-up as Deila has only added former Hearts and Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon to his squad so far.

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