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Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round

Deila delighted with squad

New Celtic manager Ronny Deila says he is more than happy with the quality of the squad he inherited from Neil Lennon.

Last Updated: 01/07/14 at 18:36 Post Comment

Ronny Deila: Boss happy with strength of Celtic squad

Ronny Deila: Boss happy with strength of Celtic squad

Lennon quit the Celtic Park hot-seat in the summer after leading the club to a hat-trick of Scottish titles, but Norwegian Deila's demeanour is one of bright optimism as he leads his new charges in an intense pre-season training camp in Austria.

The town of Bad Leonfelden will serve as a base for the Bhoys party as preparations begin in earnest ahead of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie against KR Reykjavik, with the first leg on July 15 in Iceland.

Deila said: “We have a very good squad and as I’ve said before, there is a lot of consistency in the team and that’s good because they know each other well. That is good for me and the whole staff.

“I see a lot of very good football players, but there are some differences between how they play before and how we want them to play and that takes a little bit of time but we have made a good start.

“We would ideally have more time before the UEFA Champions League qualifiers but the boys are working hard every day so credit to them, some things are going a little bit slower than other things but I think we have come very far in a short space of time.

“It has lived up to my expectations, but everything is the same when you get on the pitch and work with the staff. I’m used to that. The difference is when you go among people and you understand that it is an enormous club, with a lot of passion and that is what is new for me.”

Deila will be in the dugout for the first time as Hoops boss when Celtic face FK Krasnodar on Thursday evening as they begin a series of friendlies in Austria.

He added: “At this time the result or the opposition doesn’t really matter. It is all about how we perform.

“I’ve been talking to almost every player now so I’m starting to know them a little bit as people as well as players but they have a little bit to do physically after vacation, but also at the same time they need a little break after playing for so many months and we are going to play a lot of games until May.

“I think it’s very important that the players reflect on how they are doing. One of my big issues in coaching is that players have to take responsibility for themselves, to develop and be curious and want to learn.

“I will the try and get a culture in which they are able to see pictures after games, have good comments after games and that means both on and off the pitch. I think they know what’s expected now both on and off the pitch but it takes time to adapt.

“I am an emotional person and I have a picture in my head of what I want and although it’s never going to be perfect, the closer we get to it the better the team are going to play. I have to be patient, try and take a little bit at a time but I think we’re getting there.”

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