Former Hibernian boss Collins claimed his side are not tested as much at domestic level as they have been during their Champions League qualifying campaign.
The remarks drew criticism from Dundee boss Paul Hartley and Aberdeen counterpart Derek McInnes, who both labelled the former Scotland international as ‘disrespectful’.
But Deila has called for a reality check claiming Collins was merely stating a fact that continental teams are generally of a higher standard than those in the SPFL.
And this season’s results would appear to add substance to his argument with St Johnstone and Inverness falling at the first hurdle in Europe and Aberdeen – who lost out to Kairat Almaty of Kazakhstan – winning just one of their six qualifiers.
Speaking to the media ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Kilmarnock, the champions boss said: “It has been taken totally out of context.
“I think we both agree that you meet opponents in Europe that are sometimes better than what you meet in Scotland. That is because we play Champions League and that is a very, very obvious thing.
“There you get tested harder than you do domestically and that is not only in Scotland but that happens in Norway and Sweden or wherever it is.
“It is much tougher to play in the Champions League than domestically and that is something I support. But it is not being disrespectful to other teams.
“That is just stupid. It is the media world creating something that is not true, but I am used to it. It is a circus. I say that all the time so you just have to play this circus and that is no problem.
“John knows about football, he knows what quality is and what is best for Scottish football. He can talk about it. He has played in the semi-finals of the Champions League and he knows about quality.
“Something John Collins is is respectful. He is an unbelievably respectful man so I will really, really support him. This is not a big thing.
“It is the same for Aberdeen when they go out and meet teams that are tougher to meet than they meet in the domestic league and I saw in the newspaper that they also felt they get tested harder there. So it is a normal thing.”
But Sky Sports’ Scottish football pundit Andy Walker took a different view from Deila, claiming Collins should ‘know better’.
Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ the former Celtic striker said: “John has been incredibly naive in his comments. I am really surprised and I think he should know better.
“Whether you are a player at another club in the Premiership or whether you are a manager or a coach, you will regard those comments as being very arrogant and condescending.”