Deila Looks to Push On
In his pre-season press conference, Celtic boss Ronny Deila said he was looking to improve on his first season in charge of the Bhoys.
The Norwegian led his side to the Scottish League Cup and Scottish Premiership double last campaign, but a poor showing in Europe still left much to be desired by the Celtic fans.
‘Last season was good, but could be improved. We won the league and the cup easily, and I would like to repeat that this year, but this year I would like to improve in Europe. Last season was disappointing, we went out early and we don’t want a repeat of that. So that’s our area for improvement.’
Celtic wrapped up the Premiership title with three games to spare, when Aberdeen lost 1–0 away at Dundee United, leaving Celtic eleven points clear. This should be another formality for Celtic again this year, due to Rangers’ financial troubles and the lack of strength in other teams competing in the division.
The League Cup should also be a certainty, with last year’s edition being secured with a 2-0 win over Dundee United, following a winning run in which they scored thirteen goals and conceded none, including a 6-0 dispatching of Patrick Thistle.
However, lack lustre performances in the Scottish Cup, where they crashed out at the semi-final stage when they lost 3-2 to Inverness Caledonian Thistle, and Europe, at which they were beaten by Legia Warsaw in the Third Qualifying Round, only to be reinstated after the Polish side fielded an ineligible player, but were beaten by Slovenian side Maribor in the following round – a result which disappointed the Celtic faithful.
The Europa League campaign was slightly more successful for the Bhoys, going four games unbeaten, before a poor end to the group stage, losing two games in the row. Despite this, they qualified for the knockout stage, at which they were drawn against Italian giants Inter Milan. The Scottish side held their own in Glasgow, drawing 3-3 with the former European Champions, but couldn’t stop themselves falling out of the competition after 1-0 defeat in Milan.
Deila’s men will have to improve in Europe this coming season, following the successes of the last couple of European ventures under former boss Neil Lennon – including a historic win against Barcelona a few years ago – and it is a repeat of that the Celtic fans crave, and what Ronny Deila will want to repeat in the season ahead.