Europa League: Celtic manager praises goalkeeper Craig Gordon after Dinamo Zagreb win
Last Updated: 03/10/14 9:38am
Manager Ronny Deila praised goalkeeper Craig Gordon after Celtic secured a vital 1-0 Europa League win over Dinamo Zagreb at Parkhead.
Kris Commons gave Celtic an early lead but Scotland international Gordon was the hero after that, pulling off several fine saves to keep the Croatian side at bay.
And Deila said: “Craig was unbelievable. I said to him in the dressing room that we have him to thank for conceding zero goals and winning the game.
"Celtic have had good goalkeepers in the past and that is important. It is an important place to have good players.
"He was a prospect to come in before I was the manager of the club but I knew he was a fantastic goalkeeper, who was out for a long time (with injury).
"The goalkeeping coach (Stevie Woods) said he was ready to come back again and he has been an unbelievable signing.
"He can't do much better than he has shown. He can work on his kicking but he is a fantastic keeper and very calm."
Reflecting on the game as a whole, Deila added: “When you see the second half, they were better than us and had their chances.
"In the first half we had the chances and it was even with the ball.
"We started the game well and got a fantastic goal, so we were very good in the first half, but in the second half we got very tired and couldn't keep the ball.
"But, in the end, it was a fantastic team spirit. We worked really hard, defended fantastic and they didn't get a lot of chances, so I am pleased with that."
Celtic have back-to-back games against bottom side Astra coming up and Deila thinks they are on course for qualification.
"We have a good chance now,” he said.
"It is important to win at home and the fans were fantastic, backing the team for 93 minutes, and that is why Celtic win so many games at home.
"We look forward to playing Astra."
Zagreb coach Zoran Mamic thought his side were unfortunate not to claim at least a draw.
"I'm very disappointed,” he said. “When you see the 90 minutes, we were the better team.
"But football is about goals and we didn't score, so I have to say congratulations to Celtic.
"We played really well in the second half and had many chances.
"In the last game, against Astra, we didn't have as many shots on goal but won 5-1. I was sure we were going to score in the second half but it just didn't happen.
"I'm sure it will be better for us when we play Celtic in Zagreb. I think that could be a decisive game in the group and we showed tonight we have the quality to beat Celtic."