RONNY DEILA realises he is walking a soccer tightrope on Sunday when Celtic take on Morton in the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Celtic Park.
The tie against the Championship side has now taken on added significance after last night’s dismal goalless stalemate against Dundee in the east end of Glasgow.
It was an outcome that invited Aberdeen to close the gap to four points with 10 games to play with the Dons making no mistake in their 1-0 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice.
Unfortunately, the Hoops were booed off the pitch at both the half time and full-time whistles and Deila knows he will have to accept his share of the flak.
The Celtic board are still just about behind the Norwegian, but any slip against Jim Duffy’s Cappielow outfit – following the League Cup semi-final exit against Ross County – would pile the strain on the boss who also saw the champions drop two points in the 1-1 draw with Hamilton on Friday.
Deila admitted: “There is a lot of pressure now going into the game. Yes, I do feel it.
“That is what happens when results have not been good.
“We have a few days now to think about recent performances. We will talk as a team and try to get it right.”
But the gaffer also revealed that if his team play the way they did against the Tayside outfit – easily the worst displays of the campaign – there is a real danger they could lose the title to Derek McInnes’ Pittodrie side.
He said: “Yes, yes, that’s for sure. We have to be at a totally different level.
“But we also know how good we can be when we are at our best, so it is about details and getting the good feeling back again.
“We need to look forward to every game. But, of course, there are angry people in the dressing room. And disappointed people.
“I talk about it every day and I’ll say it again, this is about us. We are in front and we need to perform to get our points.
“If we do that, we WILL win the league. It’s as simple and difficult as that.
“There are a lot of games left and, for me, it is about getting back on track. Of course, we are making it harder for ourselves.
“If you don’t take three points at home, that is a worry. You can be unlucky, be we were not unlucky here. That’s what worries us.”
As CQN reported last night, the result against Paul Hartley’s Dens Park side is the THIRD goalless Premiership draw at Parkhead this season after Hearts and Kilmarnock managed the feat before the turn of the year.
Celtic historians are now searching the record books to discover when this last occurred.
And it could have been worse if it hadn’t been for Leigh Griffiths’ stoppage-time winner against Partick Thistle on January 2.
On top of that, Celtic also surrendered 2-1 to Mark McGhee’s Motherwell at their fortress in December.