18 Aug Celtic’s Deila: Clean sheet vital against Malmo
Celtic boss Ronny Deila believes keeping a clean sheet at Celtic Park on Wednesday is vital to their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
The Hoops face Swedish outfit Malmo in the play-off round and are just 180 minutes away from securing themselves a return to Europe’s most prestigious competition.
The Scottish champions have already knocked out Stjarnan and Qarabag to get this far in the competition and, after a 4-2 victory over Inverness CT at the weekend, Deila is high in confidence.
“I am feeling great. Good preparation, a good game on Saturday and now we are at the play-off game and everything is possible now,” he said.
“The most important thing was to get a good result and win. We also know that to get a clean sheet is very important in European football and that is what we want.
“We just have to be the best we can be. If we do that and not succeed then we are not good enough and you have to go on.
“But if we are at our best it is going to be tough for Malmo as well.
“I trust my team. We have played a lot of games now and I almost can’t remember the last time we lost a game and the team is in good shape with a lot of confidence.
“So we will see how it is against Malmo. You have to prepare the same way but everyone knows it is a big occasion and a big game.”
The encounter sees the return of Jo Inge Berget to Celtic Park. The attacker had an unsuccessful stint with the Hoops at the start of last season whilst on loan from Cardiff but is now playing for Wednesday’s opponents Malmo.
“I have seen him in a lot of shirts. Hopefully he will have a bad night tomorrow,” Deila said.
“Of course that is his goal, but I have a good relationship with Jo Inge.
“I have known him for many years. It was a tough time for him and for me as well at the start.
“We were struggling with results and it was not easy to be a Norwegian then and he was one of the players brought in so he had a very tough time to get into Celtic.”
Meanwhile, Deila revealed new signing Scott Allan may have a part to play on Wednesday and has a dilemma over whether to play Nadir Ciftci or Leigh Griffiths.