Davie Hay: I'm not looking for solutions, not heads, at Celtic

RONNY DEILA is an intelligent man.

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The system new Celtic boss Ronny Deila wants to play requires a powerful striker
The system new Celtic boss Ronny Deila wants to play requires a powerful striker

He came into the Celtic job with his eyes wide open.

He thought he knew what was involved, what was required, and what was demanded.

However, it is only now, two months and two serious Champions League setbacks later that the realisation exactly what he has signed up for will hit home.

How he reacts is what will be the measure of the man.

If he thinks he was under scrutiny before - he ain't seen nothing yet.

No-one here has enough knowledge of Ronny the man to know if he has the strength of character required to get him through, or if he will find the situation too much to handle.

I sincerely hope it is the former because he seems like a decent guy.

However, there is no papering over the fact the defeat to Maribor was a huge blow to him and to the club.

It was a result few people predicted, having seen Celtic return from Slovenia with a draw which should have been a victory.

But, at Celtic Park, they couldn't capitalise on the platform they had built, and left the door open for Maribor to step into yesterday's group stage draw without, in all honesty, having to do too much.

The Champions League qualification campaign is now a huge black mark on Ronny's CV.

And, while you can point out Gordon Strachan and Neil Lennon also started their Celtic managerial careers with major disappointments in Europe, they had the benefit of strong reputations in this country.

Ronny, for all he has achieved in Norway, does not. He is being judged solely on what he does now.

For some, the judgment has already been made. Fortunately for Ronny, I don't believe the decision makers at the club are so quick to react.

Sure, like every one of the fans, they will be bitterly disappointed that the second chance given to Celtic after they had gone out to Legia was not taken.

But, culpability does not start and finish at the manager's door, even if his team selection and decisions in play on Tuesday left him open to criticism.

I happen to agree with his call to start without Kris Commons. They were through at 0-0, so why change things and chase a goal?

But why leave out Jason Denayer - who would surely be better equipped for this game having the experience of the first leg behind him - to allow Efe Ambrose to take over from Mikael Lustig at right-back?

The alarm bells should have been ringing after the double defeat to Legia because you can't get away from the fact Celtic were trounced in those games.

And, above everything else, it should have been obvious that the system Ronny wants to play needs a strong, physical striker, something the club does not have.

So, knowing this, should Ronny have amended his system? Or should the club have done what he asked and got this type of player in ahead of the play-off ties against Maribor?

I understand they did attempt to get Stefan Scepovic in before the cut-off date. But this is still ongoing.

I make no bones about returning to the fact I believe the strict signing strategy which the club have followed for the past few years - with ceilings on transfer fees and, more importantly, wages - has to be tweaked.

I am not asking for it to be abandoned, because that would be financial madness.

But, when the need arises - and adding a striker in the mould I describe is a serious need - exceptions have to be made.

The price for remaining completely rigid is staring everyone in the face as Celtic miss out on the £15million which participating in the Champions League brings and have to settle for the Europa League where the pickings - even if you are successful - are much less.

Equally as important, missing out on the Champions League means the spice which has sustained everyone in the absence of Old Firm games in the past couple of years will be absent, and this will be reflected in the mood of the fans.

Ronny will need help to turn it around. What he doesn't need, though, is a succession of players coming out with the line they believe in him and are right behind him.

I heard that when I was a manager, and I hated it. Just go out and win. That's the way to help your boss.

It's the same with all that high-fiving stuff from his staff in the technical area when the goals were going in against Dundee United the other week.

Where were these people when they needed to make a meaningful contribution on Tuesday?

Ultimately, though, it is Ronny who has to stand up and show what he is made of.

He has to display strong resolve and say, 'I am going to show you all I am big enough for this job'.

It's a very difficult time, but I am not looking for heads - I am looking for solutions.

Football

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