By Craig Turnbull
Ronny Deila urged fans to remain united and strong against those he feels are determined to drag Celtic down as he departs from the club he loves.
Deila will leave Celtic at the end of the season after clinching five in a row but a disappointing European campaign and Cup exits to Rangers and Ross County has meant a parting of ways.
Sunday’s game against Motherwell will be his final game in charge. The title celebrations won’t be drawn out though as he will be returning to his native Norway to spend time with his family.
And he hopes that his successor is welcomed into the Celtic family and given as much support from the fans as he has received.
“First of all I want to thank all the fans and what we’ve been through it’s been two fantastic years,” he said.
“The relationship I’ve had with them has been very good and I wish them all the best in the future.
“This club is special and they have to understand how special it is and to protect the club because everybody wants to drag it down and wants us to lose.
“It’s important for the unity for the players and the staff. Everybody needs support.
“The manager who comes in needs support if they do that then people will grow and they will get the best out of them.
“If everything is insecure and we drag ourselves apart then you don’t get the best out of things it’s so important to be united and to support the team like they do.”
Deila has won two league titles and a League Cup in his two seasons in charge of the club. He admits that some will say he should have done better but he is proud of his achievements at the Hoops.
“What will be remembered are the trophies in the end,” he said. “That will always be in the history books and that is good.
“Some will think I’m a great guy and I had some success and some issues but it wasn’t a complete disaster.
“It could have been better but that’s why football is fantastic because there are so many opinions.
“Everybody thinks they are experts and that is why it is greatest sport in the world and the most famous one.”