RONNY DEILA has revealed he knew his time was up at Celtic after last season’s Scottish Cup semi-final failure to beat Championship side Sevco Rangers.
Dame Fortune snarled on the Norwegian and the Hoops that April afternoon as Leigh Griffiths struck the inside of the post and the underside of the crossbar as the tie finished in a 2-2 stalemate after extra-time.
Patrick Roberts also missed an open goal from six yards as the fates conspired against the Parkhead men.
Poor penalty-kicks from Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic handed the Cup Final spot to the Ibrox outfit whose luck ran out against Hibs where they folded to a 3-2 defeat.
But Deila’s two-year reign came to a halt later on that evening after the champions were shocked by the Govan side.
He recalled: “That wasn’t a Ronny Deila team that went out that day and I was responsible for that. That is why we decided that enough is enough.
“We played so badly, there was no energy in the team, nothing.
“That night, I understood that if this club was going to go forward and if this team was going to get the best out of itself then I had to do something.
“I wasn’t having fun, because I wasn’t improving anything any more. We were standing still, or maybe moving backwards.
“That was when I talked with Peter (Lawwell) and we agreed that this was over.
“We could have won the game, but, for me, that wouldn’t have helped everything. Just one year before, we would never have gone in like that.
“We used to play with so much intensity. And that is also what I like when I see this current Celtic team.
“I see energy, happy people and players. I see a group that stays together and that is the kind of football I love.”
Deila, now manager of local team Valarenga, added: “I don’t think I am going to get such a big club like Celtic again.
“If I came back to British football it would be a smaller club. I know what British football is about now. I know the culture and I would be much more comfortable if I went into a similar situation.
“In my eyes, I wasn’t a failure.
“Also, if you look at the Scandinavian people, only one man has lasted more than two years in British football and that was Sven Goran Eriksson.
“And there have only been five Norwegians – the others are Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Stale Solbaaken, Henning Berg, and Egil ‘Drillo’ Olsen.
“They all only lasted one year, so I lasted twice as long.”
Bobby Evans – Celtic’s Forgotten Hero is the new book from CQN and is available now.
Written by Tom Campbell, author of The Glory and The Dream, this tells the story of a player who won the Coronation Cup for Celtic, starred in Hampden in the Sun and won every available honour for Celtic in a long and distinguished career.
Evans is one of Celtic’s greats, he is forgotten no longer, thanks to this beautifully written and presented book.
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