CELTIC boss Ronny Deila has delivered a vote of confidence on Nadir Ciftci, who is still waiting to score his first goal for the club.
And the Norwegian is asking the Hoops support to reserve judgement on the £1.3million summer buy from Dundee United.
The 23-year-old Turkish frontman is now in line for a regular run in the first team after serving his six-game suspension imposed on him for an incident with Dundee’s Jim McAlister at the end of the season while he was a Tannadice player.
Ciftci will be available when the SPFL champions head to face Aberdeen at Pittodrie in their next SPFL fixture and Deila believes that it is only after the forward has been allowed a run of games that judgement should be passed on him.
The Celtic manager said: “He will be available for us when everyone is back from the international break.
“Nadir needs games. He has trained well, but he needs to play. With every player it takes time to adapt to what we are doing and they need to get on the pitch.
“We know his qualities and we believe that he can make us better. I still think that. It is too early for people to say that he is not good enough – he needs time to settle here and get used to the way we play.
“Over the next few weeks we will get to see the true picture.”
Celtic failed to land an additional striker when the summer transfer window closed, leaving the manager light on forward options with Stefan Scepovic leaving on a season-long loan to Spanish outfit Getafe.
Leigh Griffiths has netted eight goals in all competitions while Ciftci is still waiting the breakthrough strike.
However, he netted 14 goals for Jackie McNamara’s side last term and Deila hopes he gets off the mark at Pittodrie next weekend.
Deila added: “We would love to see him get that goal against Aberdeen. With a striker you do want them to get the first one and get it out of the way because the pressure does build around them.
“But he has a long contract here and we are very confident that he is a player who will do good things for us. Once he gets that first one he will go on to get more and relax a little bit.
“There are a lot of expectations on him, but we are confident that he has a big part to play in the team over the coming seasons. He can be an important player for us.”
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