RONNY Deila has admitted he has to carry the can for Celtic's Champions League failure and asked that supporters judge him after a year.
The Norwegian was appointed in June but has already come in for criticism and pressure after the champions' stuttering start to the season, including back-to-back defeats against Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Maribor.
Most of the fans' attention has been on the club's relatively low level of investment, leaving the squad unprepared to deal with either Legia Warsaw or Maribor, but there have been growing concerns about the 38-year-old's tactics and selections. Against Maribor he did not play last season's top scorer, Kris Commons, in the first leg and only used him as a second-half substitute in the disastrous defeat at Parkhead.
"Of course I am responsible for things here," said Deila. "It is better to take it out on me than on the rest. But I am going to show that we are going to progress as a team. We have also had some good games so far, it's not only been bad, but of course the Champions League has been a big influence here. I saw a lot of emotions through that. Now we have done that and we have to look forward to what we're going to do in the league, and building that style of play and the team we want."
Deila and Peter Lawwell conducted separate media briefings at Lennoxtown, with the chief executive's appearance a consequence of the Champions League fallout. The relationship between the two has not been complicated by that result, said Deila. "We are talking all the time, every day. Communication is very good. It hasn't changed at all because of being in the Europa League. We're here to build a team and to get good results. That's what we'll do."
Commons has featured in eight of Celtic's nine games so far this season but was marginalised for the Maribor matches, the two biggest of the campaign so far. Deila was asked bluntly if Commons, who turns 31 today, had a future at Celtic. "He knows that he has a future here. He knows he's an important player for the team. He has played nearly every game. Of course I understand he's disappointed that he didn't play these games. But that was a tactical decision, not because of a bad performance by Kris. He will have a big influence on the team in the future.
"We were thinking we needed more legs [mobility] in midfield, that's why we did it. But also he can play on the wing. He is a professional, so he works hard. He wants to do it in the proper way - and this is an example for the others.
"I've talked to Kris about this. Of course I understand he's disappointed that he didn't play. But we're a team. I think the decision was right."