Saturday 16 December 2017

Deila hails reborn Teemu

Celtic boss urges striker Pukki to keep up form after Euro double

Celtic manager Ronny Deila. Picture: Alan Rennie/PA Wire.
Celtic manager Ronny Deila. Picture: Alan Rennie/PA Wire.

CELTIC boss Ronny Deila has urged Teemu Pukki to continue his impressive start to the season.

The Finland international moved to Parkhead last summer as part of a £3million switch but failed to shine.However, after bagging four goals during the Hoops' pre-season warm-up tour of central Europe, he continued to impress after replacing injured frontman Anthony Stokes in Celtic's Champions League qualifier with KR Reykjavik at BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

He netted twice in the 4-0 win at the home of Scottish rugby as the Scottish Champions confirmed a 5-0 aggregate victory and sent them through to the third qualifying round.New boss Deila has been impressed with the improvement Pukki has shown since he took over

.He said: "He was good. He had a lot of chances, including one before he scored and he just has to continue. He needs minutes and he has scored in almost every game he has played now which is good."I've talked with him like I have talked with all the players but everything is a process.

"There will be good times and bad times during a season but it's the dialogue between the coach and the player which is important."They have to be aware of what they're doing themselves, and have responsibility for their own career and development. It takes time."A lot of the players are listening and are taking steps but it's only been four weeks and I can't do miracles. However, we are going in the right way."

Deila, meanwhile, stressed his desire to keep Fraser Forster at Celtic Park after the Hoops cruised through to the Champions League third qualifying round with a 4-0 win over KR Reykjavik at the BT Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh.

Celtic had reportedly rejected a bid from Southampton for the England international keeper who was mostly a spectator as doubles from defender Virgil van Dijk and striker Teemu Pukki ensured the Scottish champions would be facing either St Patrick's Athletic or Legia Warsaw in the next round after sealing a 5-0 aggregate triumph.

After the match Hoops boss Deila revealed he had not felt the need to speak to his keeper, saying: "We want to keep Fraser. Of course we want to qualify for the Champions League so we want to keep him."He hasn't (indicated a desire to leave). He has done a good job since he has come to Celtic but Celtic have also been fantastic for him and I hope that will continue because we need our best players and he is a fantastic keeper."Something will happen in the end but if it happens now or in the winter or next summer, I don't know, we will see. But we have to keep on going."Things are happening around my players all the time but Fraser is an unbelievable professional and I know that he really wants to play in the Champions League."

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