Celtic will be right at home in the capital, says Deila

RONNY DEILA insists Celtic won't face a Euro disadvantage by playing the home leg of their Champions League qualifier at Murrayfield.

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Murrayfield is the venue for Celtic's Champions League second-round qualifying tie against KR Reykjavik, but coach Ronny Deila is not fazed by the prospect
Murrayfield is the venue for Celtic's Champions League second-round qualifying tie against KR Reykjavik, but coach Ronny Deila is not fazed by the prospect

The Hoops were paired with Icelandic side KR Reykjavik in the second round draw, with the dates of the ties still to be confirmed.

Former Parkhead assistant manager Murdo MacLeod questioned the club's decision to head to the Capital for the home leg in SportTimes yesterday.

Celtic Park and Hampden are both unavailable due to the Commonweath Games, but boss Deila is confident his side can thrive at the home of Scottish rugby.

He said: "It's not possible to play a game there beforehand but that's okay. We will play four matches in Austria and get good preparation there.

"Hopefully then we will play on the Wednesday to get more time from the last game to the Champions League match.

"Murrayfield will be something different. It's a big stadium, the pitch is going to be good, and it will be different for our fans as well.

"You have to look at it in a positive way. We can't always look at things negatively.

"It is still our home game and we will have a lot of fans there. I think we will do well. We just need to make our performance as good as possible.

"It's very important that as many fans as possible come to the games to get a really good home atmosphere.

"We have to just prepare with the circumstances that we have and have a good preparation.

"I will try to go to Murrayfield before we go to Austria to see everything and how it is. They are going to change the pitch so it will be perfect.

"That's the important thing, that everything on the pitch is as similar as Celtic Park as possible. We want the tempo of the match to be high."

While Deila will start putting his squad through their paces when the champions return to pre-season action today, their Euro rivals are already well into their domestic campaign.

KR are currently fourth in the Icelandic Úrvalsdeild having taken 16 points from their first nine matches.

But Deila insists his side will be more than ready for the challenge as they look to take another step closer to the money-spinning group stages.

He said: "They are more fit than us, but nearly every player in our squad is an international player. Most of them played at the beginning of June.

"It's good that they've had a few weeks holiday as it's going to be a long season.

"We will try to do everything right in Austria to build up the physical shape of the players as quickly as possible and in the best way, without getting injuries.

"Then we will be very focused on this game."


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