Celtic boss Ronny Deila insists winning takes priority at the moment

Ryan Christie (l), Patrick Roberts (c) and Scott Allan all came on for Celtic
Image: Ryan Christie [left], Patrick Roberts [centre] and Scott Allan [right] all came on for Celtic

Celtic boss Ronny Deila insists winning was the priority following the 3-0 victory over Inverness CT.

The win was achieved by a goal from Gary Mackay-Steven and a brace from Leigh Griffiths, and moves Celtic six points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the table having now played the same number of games.

Deila has been criticised for his open style of play this season, but opted to take no risks against opponents who defeated title challengers Aberdeen 3-1 on Monday.

His decision to introduce youngsters Scott Allan, Ryan Christie and Patrick Roberts following two quick goals after the interval seemed to lift Celtic as they ran out comfortable winners having failed to ruffle Inverness for the opening 50 minutes.

While Celtic fans have only seen fleeting glimpses of attacking midfielders Allan and Christie since their arrivals, both excited the crowd along with Roberts in an entertaining finale, and Deila can understand the appeal.

Deila said: "It is always fun to have presents, when you don't know what you get.

Inverness CT boss John Hughes shakes hands with Celtic manager Ronnie Deila (r)
Image: Inverness CT boss John Hughes shakes hands with Celtic manager Ronnie Deila [right]

"They have skills that can open defences and take people on and they showed that today and that is very positive.

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"They had energy and looked like they really wanted to show themselves and I think I would expect that when they come at Celtic Park.

"When you are 2-0 up it is a different ball game. There is more space but in the end we won as a team and that is a positive thing.

"But they played with the confidence and worked hard and that is the combination I am looking for."

Although Celtic had been second best in a first-half which Gary Warren missed an open goal, Deila resisted the chance to make changes at the interval, stressing his side had to be in a commanding position before he brought on the entertainers.

The former Stromsgodset manager said: "I could have (made changes at the break) but maybe we wouldn't have won the game. It is hard to say.

"Every team comes from solid defence first of all, that is the first thing. If you are open then there are problems.

"We have a very hard-working team. Maybe there is not so much creativity in the starting eleven but you know that they are going to do the hard work and that is important, and it is also good that we have players who can come on like today.

"Then we need to get this together, the hard work and the flair."

Leigh Griffiths scoring his 32nd goal of the season as Celtic beat Inverness CT 3-0
Image: Leigh Griffiths scoring his 32nd goal of the season as Celtic beat Inverness CT 3-0

As well as the Warren opportunity, Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon saved from Jordan Roberts when he ran through on goal in the opening minutes of the second half.

And Inverness boss John Hughes rued the missed chances, but believes his side were still in the game until Griffiths struck his first goal on 59 minutes.

"On another day, if we took our chances it might have been a different game," Hughes said.

"I felt our shape was very good and we gave as good as we got in the first half and, when we did have the ball, our passing was very good and through experiences I knew the chances would come.

"To lose a goal 10 minutes into the second half was very disappointing.

"But I have seen many a boxer knocked down come back and win the fight and I said that to them so it was the second one that killed us.

"But I can't ask any more from them. I am getting everything that they've got."

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