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Jeff Holmes Dubliner Jonny Hayes celebrates scoring his side's goal.
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Beaten Celtic still good enough to keep title, says Deila
An Irishman helped Aberdeen beat the Bhoys last night.

CELTIC MANAGER Ronny Deila is adamant his side are good enough to retain their Scottish Premiership title despite Aberdeen cutting their lead at the top of the table to three points following a 2-1 defeat at Pittodrie on Wednesday.

A wonder strike from Dublin-born Jonny Hayes, who was playing with 18 stitches in his hand after being attacked by a dog, and a debut goal from Simon Church gave Aberdeen hope of a first top flight title in 31 years.

Leigh Griffiths grabbed a consolation for Celtic in stoppage time but it was too little too late for the Glasgow giants.

It caps a disappointing week for the Hoops after they suffered a shock Scottish League Cup semi-final defeat to Ross County on Sunday to end their hopes of a domestic treble.

Questions will now be raised about the future of Deila, who has also presided over a dismal Europa League campaign which saw Celtic exit at the group stages without a win.

However, the Norwegian boss says he remains firmly focused on leading his side to a fifth straight league triumph.

“I am used to the pressure all the time. What I am thinking about is winning the title and working every day to improve the team and that’s what we’re going to do,” Deila said.

“I’m confident we have the skills in the team to do it but it’s going to be tough as Aberdeen are getting better. We have to give credit to them as well but there are many games left.

“Of course people are disappointed but it’s important to understand that we are three points clear at the top so there is a lot to play for.

“We just have to keep calm, working and believe in the things we are doing. We’ve won a lot of games and have lost just three in the league.

“Everything is in our hands and we’re going to fight to the bitter end to get this title.”

Aberdeen v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Pittodrie Stadium Jeff Holmes Jeff Holmes

As pressure continues to mount, Deila issued a rallying call to the Celtic supporters.

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“My message is that we have to stay together. The players need the fans’ support and we’ll give everything for them,” he added.

“Together we’re going to do it. Everybody is working everyday to get the best results and best performance.

“We have many opportunities and Aberdeen still have to come to Celtic Park so it’s going to be an important game.”

Last season Aberdeen ended the season as runners-up for the first time in 21 years but still finished 17 points behind Celtic, who triumphed in their four league meetings.

However, after masterminding his side’s second win over the Hoops this season, manager Derek McInnes refused to say the Dons could win the title.

“I get asked this all the time but I don’t think anyone believes it. I think everyone wants it but no one really believes it,” McInnes said.

“You ask anyone involved in Scottish football and nobody would put money on Aberdeen winning the league.

“Last season when we didn’t beat Celtic it had a big bearing so I think the importance of beating teams around about you is there to be seen. We inflicted damage on them and gained three points on them.

“I feel I’ve got a team that can win more often than not. We’ve done that now for two-and-a-half years and hopefully we can continue to do that for the next 14 games.”

© – AFP 2016

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