Monday 11 December 2017

Treble is not the be-all for Ronnie Delia


Ronnie Deila admits he will be disappointed if his Celtic side do not win a historic treble this season.

Victory over St Johnstone at Parkhead tonight will take the Hoops nine points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership ahead of a William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final and Scottish League Cup final against Dundee United later this month.

The Norwegian targeted the treble, a feat achieved only by Martin O’Neill (2001) and Jock Stein (1967, 1969), when he took over from Neil Lennon last summer.

With his side now playing at the top of their game following a tricky start to his tenure – they passed up two chances to get out of the Champions League qualifiers – the Celtic manager has moved from hope to expectation.

“I think we are the best team,” he said. “If we don’t get to our full potential then I will be disappointed but the cup is the cup.

“You can get a red card, or be very unlucky but if the performance is bad and we lose because we are not good enough then I will be a little bit disappointed because I believe we can do it.

“I didn’t say we were going to win the Europa League because that was not realistic but it is realistic to win the treble.

“I know that it is up to us. If we don’t do it then we are not good enough but high goals gets high demands and good performances and this group can handle it.”

The former Stromsgodset boss stressed, however, that he would not deem it a failure if he missed out on all three trophies.

He said: “You can’t say that because then I would put too many demands on our players.

“(But) This is a big, big chance, the players can make history. We have a real chance now so we just have to keep focused.”

Defender Efe Ambrose admits it is the best chance for a treble since he joined Celtic from FC Ashdod in 2012 but he remains cautious.

The 26-year-old Nigeria international said: “I want to give it our all to see if we can do it. I feel it’s our year. It’s not going to be an easy task.”

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