Ronny Deila believes Murrayfield move will not hinder Celtic’s progress
Champions League preview – Second qualifying round, second leg – Celtic (1) v KR Reykjavik (0)
Celtic manager Ronny Deila (right): his side is 1-0 up from the first leg and will face either Polish side Legia Warsaw or St Patrick’s Athletic in the next qualifier if success at Murrayfield. Photograph: Getty Images
Ronny Deila believes his Celtic side will have “no excuses” for failing to perform at the home of Scottish rugby in the second leg of their Champions League second qualifier against KR Reykjavik on Tuesday night.
The match is being played on a new pitch at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh as Parkhead is out of commission due its use in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Celtic are 1-0 up from the first leg and will face either Polish side Legia Warsaw or St Patrick’s Athletic in the next qualifier if, as expected, they see off the Icelandic side.
After looking at the Murrayfield playing surface, a mixture of grass and artificial fibres, Deila gave it a ringing endorsement. “It is fantastic,” said the Norwegian. “It is a very good pitch. The team will have the support and that is important and the pitch is perfect. So no excuses.”
Pitch perfectCharlie Mulgrew, skipper in the first leg in the absence of Scott Brown, who is out long term with a hamstring injury, was equally praiseworthy of the new pitch. He said: “If you are not going to play at your home stadium then this is just the perfect place. Everything is perfect about it, the pitch, everything, it will be fine.
“Preparations have been fine and everything has gone smoothly. It is just another place to play, and it is a great place. We hope to get as many fans as we can in.”
Celtic fans who make their way to the capital will see a familiar line-up as Deila has only added former Hearts and Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon to his squad so far and he may not even be on the bench if regular number two Lukasz Zaluska is named as back-up to England cap Fraser Forster.
The former Stromsgodset manager continues on the search for new players, which will be vital in the event of the Scottish champions making the group stages of the competition, but insists he will not be making signings for the sake of it.
“We are working to try to get someone in. It is a bad time, it costs more money. It is also about finding the right ones. I am after quality,” he said.