Champions League: Celtic boss Ronny Deila happy with 1-1 draw in Maribor
Last Updated: 21/08/14 10:17am
Ronny Deila believes Celtic have a "big chance" of making the group stage after a 1-1 draw with Maribor in their Champions League play-off.
An early Callum McGregor goal was cancelled out by a Damjan Bohar strike just ten minutes later, but Celtic held on to grab a valuable draw ahead of next Tuesday’s return leg at Celtic Park.
With the Bhoys in pole position to claim a group stage spot, Deila admits he can’t wait to sample the Parkhead atmosphere in next week’s game against the Slovenian champions.
“I think we were closer to win than they were. I think the performance was good and I’m proud of the boys today,” he told Sky Sports.
“We worked very hard for 90 minutes. I’m pleased, and it’s going to be very exciting to play at Celtic Park on Tuesday.
“It’s one of our advantages to play at home. I saw that on Saturday, and just how much it means to the players. We have a big chance now.”
Deila praised goal scorer McGregor, his third goal in five qualifying games, while lauding the efforts of goalkeeper Craig Gordon – who competed in only his fourth game since 2011.
Speaking about McGregor, the Bhoys boss said: “He’s a fantastic player - he’s good in both offence and defensive. Today, he was fantastic.
“You see every day the hunger (Gordon) has, he wants to get back to the level he was.
“He’s almost there now. He’s an unbelievably experienced keeper. He’s calm and a leader in the group. That’s important.”