Ronny Delia shoulders blame for Celtic's Champions League exit

There was no need for the TMO at Murrayfield last night.

 Celtic manager Ronny Deila (left) and backroom team last night.
Celtic manager Ronny Deila (left) and backroom team last night.
Image: Jeff Holmes

CELTIC MANAGER Ronny Delia says he takes full responsibility after his side exited the Champions League following a resounding 6-1 aggregate defeat to Legia Warsaw in their third round qualifying match at Murrayfield.

The Hoops boss, who replaced Neil Lennon in the summer, had called for more energy and urgency from his side following their humbling 4-1 defeat in the first leg in Poland last week.

However, there was no notable improvement from the Hoops as goals from Michal Zyro and Michael Kucharczyk handed the Scottish champions a 2-0 second leg defeat to end their hopes of a third successive season in the Champions League.

“Of course it is my responsibility but also I need time to get my ideas across and get the players I want to come in and get the best out of the players here,” Delia said.

“It’s a new thing for the players and a new thing for me but we are working every day.

“I am disappointed and the performance wasn’t good enough but that’s where we are just now and where we have to start improving from.

“I am not embarrassed by the result but I’m not satisfied. We have been in the Champions League for the past two years but this year we weren’t good enough – not by far.

“That was one of our goals as a club and it’s where we want to be. I feel really sorry for the players because I know they wanted it but they didn’t perform good enough.”

Delia only joined Celtic from unfashionable Norwegian side Stromsgodset, whom he led to the title, two months ago and the 38-year-old said the job to rebuild the team he inherited from Lennon was bigger than he thought.

“I came in here to do a job and to work together with the club to improve things. I’ve only been here for six weeks and right now it’s not good enough. That’s what I can see,” Delia said of the match, which was played at Murrayfield while Celtic Park is restored following the Commonwealth Games.

“Of course when I sit here now I understand it is a big job and a big task in front of me. I see that we have to do a lot of things differently,” he said.

“We need to make the squad better and we are working to get new players but we also have to do the best with what’s here. There’s a lot of skill and quality here but they haven’t shown it in the last two games and that’s what I’m going to work on in the next games.

“We have to bring in the best quality players we can with the money we have. I know that the club wants to improve the squad with good players.

“We need players with pace, with ambition and who are young as I want to build up a team that can last for many years. I see things today that can be good but too many things that need improved.

“We need to get players in as we need a new team and a better team.”

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Delia has only been in charge for four competitive games but such is the scale of the job at Celtic that pressure is already beginning to mount on him.

His opposite number at Legia Warsaw, Henning Berg, said Celtic should keep faith with his fellow Norwegian.

“I know for any team not qualifying for the Champions League is difficult but I know he has the experience, the knowledge and the character to improve Celtic,” Berg, who played for Celtic’s rivals Rangers, said of Delia.

“I hope Celtic give him time as he is a good manager and a good coach. It was not easy for him to get to know his players and the club and then play the most important games of the season so quickly.”

© AFP 2014

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