Wednesday 24 September 2014 23:40, UK
Celtic manager Ronny Deila said he thinks his team is starting to look “more complete” after watching them ease to a 3-0 Scottish League Cup victory at home to Hearts.
Deila has endured a somewhat troubled start to life in charge of Celtic, and Sunday’s 1-1 draw at home to Motherwell failed to silence his critics.
But the Norwegian boss was in high spirits after the Championship leaders had been comfortably defeated, although the hosts enjoyed one moment of luck when Osman Sow put a penalty over the bar when the score was just 1-0.
Deila said: “It was a very good performance.
"I have been delighted over the last two games, I am seeing a team who works hard and works together.
"We did that on Sunday as well but what we didn't do is open Motherwell up. We were too slow, we had too few penetrative runs.
"Tonight we were much better and in the first half we had six very good chances, and that was against a good team with good confidence.
"So I am very pleased. I think we look much stronger and more complete."
Celtic will be at home to Partick Thistle in the last eight and Deila denied that he was disappointed not to have landed a tie against historic rivals Rangers.
"I said I would take what's coming,” he said. “We have got Thistle and it will be a difficult match, but it is good that we are at home.
"We love to play in front of our fans in our stadium. You have seen tonight that the players enjoyed expressing themselves in front of them."
Sow’s penalty was a long way over the crossbar but Hearts manager Robbie Neilson was able to make light of the miss.
"I thought there was a lot of conviction in it, it is still coming down!” he said. “He smashed it.
"I am glad he hit it with conviction rather than try to chip it. I have no issues with him at all and the boys rallied round him at the end.
"The penalty changed it, that's the way it goes. At least he has the strength to go up and take it but the game hinges on that outcome.
"Our defence has been one of the plus points of the season so far for us but we made mistakes for the first goal, the second goal and the third goal so, if you do that when you come here, you are going to lose games.
"We hit the crossbar at 1-0 down and we missed the penalty, and you need to take the chances.
"We didn't do that and didn't deserve anything from the game but I was pleased with a lot of the aspects of it."