RONNY DEILA was in a confident mood after Celtic’s narrow 1-0 victory over Qarabag in tonight’s Champions League qualifier at Celtic Park.
While appreciating that the tie has a long way to go, Deila was please with the win and in particular the fact that his Celtic side did not concede.
“This game is definitely not won yet” said the Celtic boss. ” We appreciate they are a good team and are at home. But if we score one then they need score three and that is positive. I think we have a good chance, but everything can still happen.
“There is speed in the team to counter attack. We have hard-working midfielders. We also have a good defence. The two central defenders were class today. We hardly conceded a chance so defensively we were very, very strong.
“In the first half the ball went too slow and we didn’t create enough two-against-one situations and enough crosses. In the second half, we got better. We had possession and pressure on them, but we have to turn that into chances.
“We need a team. I think we are a stronger team. I believe in my players. I believe we are individually good and have strong quality. They are a good team. You can see they have had the sa,e coach for seven years and have played using the same system. We have to play very well to get through.
“We had to go up a level in the Inter Milan game to get a good a good result. I think offensively we should have created more, but it is still early in the season. I believe in my team. But, again, I have respect for our opponents.”
Deila also revealed that Leigh Griffiths’ omission from the starting line-up could have had something to do with his sweet tooth! Remember that tea-cake? Ronny explained…
“It wasn’t so hard a decision because Leigh has struggled the whole night with a tooth problem. He was at the dentists in the morning and he hasn’t slept. So the decision was easier.
“I think Nadir (Ciftci) played very well tonight and Leigh came on and he was involved in getting the goal, but you can see also that he wasn’t at it like he normally is because he hadn’t had enough sleep last night.”
Meanwhile Qarabag manager Gurban Gurbanov tried to sound pleased that his side had lost in Glasgow. He reflected on the bright side stating that he felt his side had performed well and stressing that his side could win the tie next Wednesday infant of their own support.
Gurbanov said: “I had said before the game that we could lose by a goal. We will see how it is after the second game. I want to congratulate the head coach of Celtic and his players because they won the first game.
“I am satisfied with my team, I liked their game. We knew we were going to play a good team and that Glasgow would be very difficult there. I think you will see a very interesting game in the second game with the support of the fans in Azerbaijan. We have great supporters, as do Celtic.”