Ronny Deila says Nadir Ciftci is ready to lift weight from Leigh Griffiths

Nadir Ciftci Celtic

Share this story

Manager Ronny Deila feels Nadir Ciftci is ready to lift some of the goalscoring burden from Leigh Griffiths at Celtic.

The striker helped himself to a brace against St Johnstone on Sunday at McDiarmid Park as Celtic moved four points clear in the Scottish Premiership courtesy of a 3-0 win.

Ciftci, signed from Dundee United in the summer, has been forced to be patient in getting his chance in the first team as Griffiths enjoyed a sparkling start to the season.

The Scotland international has already scored 19 goals in all competitions this season but Deila feels it is important his other strikers are able to pitch in as well.

“You have to play to score,” said the Hoops manager. “That’s important. Leigh has been unbelievable this season and you don’t take out a goalscorer, while Carlton (Cole) is also coming on.

“But I’m so happy for Nadir. He has played two games in a row and we know he can do this and he was strong and scored two goals and it makes it better for everyone that we don’t have to rely on Leigh all the time.”

Celtic’s European interest for this season ended following their Europa League draw with Fenerbahce on Thursday and while it was a largely disappointing continental campaign, Deila was at least pleased to see his team continue their perfect record on the back of European games this season.

“This is the 10th time we have come home from Europe this year and we won 10 times,” he added.

“I don’t know if we have done that in the club’s history. It’s also tougher after the Europa League as you play on Thursday instead of Tuesday or Wednesday, and hopefully we don’t have to do that next year.”

Leave a comment