RONNY DEILA admitted he has no problems with the fact Nadir Ciftci has been firing blanks since arriving from Dundee United.
The Turkish striker has made six appearances and yet to hit his breakthrough goal since his £1.3million move from Tannadice last month.
Celtic have forked out millions of pounds over the past couple of years in bringing in forward line flops such as Amido Balde, Teemu Pukki and Derk Boerrigter.
Balde and Peeku were sold in the summer and there seems every likelihood Boerrigter will follow them through the Parkhead exit as soon as someone shows an interest in the former Ajax winger whose Hoops career has been hampered by loss of form and injury.
But Deila believes Ciftci will have a big part to play for the SPFL champions and has put his faith in the powerful frontman. And he is also backing Stefan Scepovic, last summer’s £2.3million buy from Sporting Gijon to come good,
The Hoops boss acknowledged “It’s a very big jump coming from Dundee United to trying to get into the Champions League with Celtic.
“The only way they’ll learn is to give them the experience. They’re good players and they have the ability to do something on that stage. I know that. They will get better and better.
“But I know it takes time to understand what this club is about.
”Nadir and I have spoken, not about goals, but about how I want him to play for Celtic. I think he is getting there. He’s more of a No.9 than a No.10.
“Sometimes he plays as a 10, but he drops too deep for me. I want him to be more up front, he has to be a target man for us.
“He’s had a few chances and we’ve seen in training that his finishing is good. So the goals are coming, that doesn’t worry me.”
With Ciftci sitting out the first of his six-game ban in the 2-0 win over Ross County on Saturday, Scepovic was thrown on as an early substitute with Leigh Griffiths taken off as a precaution.
The Serb, though, failed to ignite and couldn’t add to his meagre six-goal tally from last season.
Deila, though, reckons his time will come, too, and insists the Celtic fans will see a better player this time around.
It’s now up to Ciftci and Scepovic to repay their manager for his complete faith in their abilities.
By CQN Magazine.
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