RONNY DEILA was delighted but not surprised at the immediate impact made by his two recent signings at Firhill last night. Both Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong got on the score sheet in the first half before Stefan Johansen added a third in the second half in yet another comfortable win for Ronny’s increasingly impressive side.
Craig Gordon’s shut out was never really under threat in a match that was notable for the sheer effort and determination shown by Swedish striker John Guidetti. We wrote yesterday about the stage Guidetti is at his time at Celtic and this provided a fascinating insight into the Celtic manager’s methods. Anyone who read that article would not be surprised at the performance from the on-loan striker and don’t be surprised if he starts bagging goals very soon and is also keen to sign on at Celtic for the longer term. Such is the influence that Ronny Delia is having on this group of player.
After last night’s 3-0 victory which saw Celtic go three points clear of Aberdeen with a game in hand and a vastly superior goal difference, the Norwegian had this to say about his team:
‘We saw in training they are capable of playing at a high level and today they got a good start as well so I am delighted for them and the team as well.
‘We knew (Gary) had the skills we need — we need players who can go on penetrating runs and open more spaces. Both of them are doing that and that makes us more difficult to read and it is harder to beat us. We were dangerous last weekend and also today.
‘I think we are a better team but it is not just them who
are making us better. We are improving all the time. I feel comfortable when I sit on the bench now compared to four months ago. We have good confidence and we are looking forward to every game.
‘We are going to play three games a week for seven weeks in a row so we need all the players we have.
‘You see it as competition and I see it as a big squad and a big team and we are going to win trophies together. People do not sit on the bench because they are bad but because we need fresh legs. The way we want to play football by pressing is hard on the players physically so we need to use the whole squad. Now I feel more comfortable about doing that.’
‘Bitton and Brown were good and with Virgil Van Dijk, it is very hard to create anything against us now. He is more of a leader now pushing from behind. He is very fit now.’
Leigh Griffiths and James Forrest missed the Partick Thistle game with but will available for the trip to Perth at the weekend. Kris Commons won’t make that match but is aiming to be available for selection when Inter Milan come calling next week. This Europa League match is now sold out.