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‘RONNY DESERVES PRAISE,’ GORDON

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CRAIG GORDON has told Ronny Deila he can be proud of what he has achieved during his two years as Celtic manager.

The Norwegian, who will leave the club after the final league game of the season against Motherwell a week on Sunday, saw the Hoops effectively seal their fifth successive title with the 3-1 win over Hearts at Tynecastle at the weekend.

And Gordon insisted there was every reason for Deila and the players to celebrate, despite the criticism that has come the way of the team during a turbulent campaign at home and abroad.

The international No.1 believes Deila, who also won the championship and the League Cup last season, should enjoy his moment.

Gordon said: “Of course, he should – we ALL should. It is an incredible achievement for all of us to be part of a team that has just won five league titles on the bounce.

“I have so much respect for Ronny and I hope he enjoys this and I hope he enjoys the last games before he goes.

“To me he is a coach with some good ideas, a good philosophy on how he wants the game to be played and I don’t have any doubt that he will be in another job pretty quickly.

“He is a young coach and I think the last two years will have stood him in good stead. He is a good manager and he is someone with whom I would like to think I will still keep in touch.

“I fully expect that he will go on to a very successful career.

“He has had a tough few months. He is good at keeping that pressure off the players. But we are pretty much over the line now and he deserves to be allowed to enjoy that.”

Gordon also insisted the Premiership success will be appreciated more in years to come than it might be at the moment.

The 33-year-old shotstopper said: “Winning a title is special. You play 38 games over the course of a season and if the league shows that you are the best team in the country, then surely that is something to celebrate?

“I agree that it was all quite relaxed after the whistle had gone. It wasn’t a crazy day simply because we have been expected to do this. But if Celtic go on to win more titles – as we would like to – then this will be as important as any other.”

The former Hearts keeper joked he had always dreamed of winning the championship at Tynecastle. He laughed, ‘Yeah, I always wanted to win the league in front of the Hearts support.

“But, seriously, I am at a stage in my career where I can appreciate that these are special days – however you do it.

“We have got ourselves there and the next step will be on getting ourselves together and preparing for the summer. There will be changes, I’m sure, as a new manager will want to put his own stamp on the team, but right now our focus is on enjoying the last three games.

“The pressure is off of us probably for the first time this season. We can relax and express ourselves a wee bit now.”

 
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