Champions League: Celtic boss Ronny Deila honest after Maribor defeat
Last Updated: 27/08/14 9:50am
Celtic manager Ronny Deila gave an honest appraisal of his team after the 1-0 reverse to NK Maribor saw his side knocked out of the Champions League.
Deila will now have the opportunity to develop his team in Europe’s second competition, just like his predecessors Neil Lennon, Gordon Strachan and Martin O’Neill.
Celtic had their opportunities with Callum McGregor hitting the bar, Efe Ambrose powering a header narrowly wide, both from close range, and Virgil van Dijk seeing his stoppage-time volley from 12 yards saved by Jasmin Handanovic on the line.
But it was a nervy display by Celtic and they survived a couple of scares as the match wore on, before Maribor striker Marcos Tavares beat Craig Gordon with a looping shot, which sent the Slovenian side through 2-1 on aggregate.
Deila said: "The first half wasn't good enough, we were more aggressive in the second half and it was a very even game.
"They had two chances before the goal came and they were more effective. At the end, there is only one thing to say, we haven't been good enough and we haven't deserved to go to the Champions League.
"There is no excuse. We are not good enough. Now it is the Europa League and we will do everything we can to achieve things in that competition. That is our level now and that is what we have to work from.
"We didn't lose because of the defending. We lost because we didn't create anything. We have to have more tempo and movement in our play, that is the job and it has to start now."
Maribor boss Ante Simundza, who played for the club when they were last in the Champions League in 1999, reckons his tactics were spot on at Celtic Park.
"I expected what I saw today from Celtic tonight," Simundza said.
"I knew that they would not go immediately to put us under pressure, that they would wait for the second half and they did exactly that and I was confident that we could score to get the win to get to the group stages.
"Getting there is very important for us and our fans and it is a great thing for Slovenia."