CHIEF executive Peter Lawwell has told Ronny Deila’s critics the team boss will remain at Celtic.
At today’s AGM, the Hoops supremo insisted: “We look after managers here and help them to develop.”
Deila has come under fire for failure to qualify foer the Champions League group stages during his two seasons in charge, going out last year to NK Maribor and to Molde in this campaign.
Chairman Ian Bankier opened the meeting by saying the Norwegian retained the faith of the board.
He said: “To be Celtic manager, the expectation upon you is to win everything, but life does not work that way.
“Last year we won two trophies, this year we are ahead in the league, but we have been sharply disappointed by two adverse results in Europe. We can’t buy success, we need to develop what we have.”
Lawwell emphasised the misfortune that befell Deila and his team when match officials failed to spot a handball offence by Josh Meekings in the 3-2 extra-time defeat in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Inverness Caley Thistle which prevented the chance of a hat-trick of domestic silverware.
The defender clearly handled a header from Leigh Griffiths that was heading for the net which would have made it 2-0 just before the interval.
Lawwell said: “On the pitch, it was a year of transition. We had a new, young manager and nothing prepares you for the Celtic job.
“It was baptism of fire for Ronny. We would have gone on to win the treble last season had it not been for that decision at Hampden.
“This year we stumbled in Europe which was bitterly disappointing. We must do better. We have got to perform to our highest standards.
“We must improve and no one knows that more than Ronny.
“We are at the top of the league, in the other two competitions and chance to go for a treble.
“We have under-achieved in Europe and, hopefully, we can go and take the treble.
“He is a young manager. We hired him on the basis of fundamental qualities he has got. He is a builder and that takes time.
“You can’t have a knee-jerk reaction after two or three games. We look after our managers here and we give them time to progress.
“You can see improvement in our players – Virgil van Dijk improved, Jason Denayer improved, Nir Bitton has obviously improved as has Leigh Griffiths and we are now seeing Kieran Tierney coming in.”
On a Q&A on Celtic Quick News on Wednesday evening Lisbon Lion Jim Craig told the blog that qualifying for the Champions League is now “the basic definition of success for a Celtic manager” while on Radio Scotland last night CQN’s Paul Brennan stated that Peter Lawwell main priority is ensuring that the club qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Should be a interesting January.
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Even some of the titles we lost in this period may yet be awarded to us.
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