Celtic boss aims to develop young talent

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Celtic's manager Ronny Deila gestures from the touchline during their UEFA Europa League match against Astra Giurgiu, at Celtic Park in Glasgow, on October 23, 2014 (AFP Photo/Ian Macnicol)
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Glasgow (AFP) - Celtic boss Ronny Deila hopes the Scottish champions can become a magnet for the best young talent in Europe.

Deila's impressive work at developing youngsters at Norwegian club Stromsgodset was one of the reasons the Parkhead club turned to the 39-year-old to replace Neil Lennon in the summer.

The Hoops boss has since helped bring out the best in on-loan Manchester City players Jason Denayer and John Guidetti, while home-grown talent Callum McGregor has shone on his appearances in the first team.

And Deila hopes their progression can help attract more talented youngsters to Celtic, who face Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday, in the future.

"I hope so. It was like that when I was a coach in Norway," the Celtic boss said.

"All the good young players wanted to come to Stromsgodset as they saw what we did with them. They came as average players and they left heading out to Europe and have a career. That's what we want here as well.

"You can see what we've done with Jason, who is progressing all the time, along with a lot of other players who are progressing as well. Guidetti is also performing well.

"If you get good results with the players and the team, then players want to come here and become better. It's about getting the best out of the players and getting them to reach their potential."

Swedish striker Guidetti has made a huge impact since arriving in Glasgow on a season-long loan from City, with eight goals in as many appearances including a hat-trick in Wednesday's resounding 6-0 League Cup win against Partick Thistle.

And Deila is already plotting to make his stay at Celtic Park a permanent one.

"He has to get to know us and we have to get to know him. When he came, there was a question mark as he was out for a long time and hadn't played football regularly for two years," the Celtic manager said.

"It's been a fantastic relationship so far. He wants to improve and knows he can improve more as well and that's what we want.

"To improve he needs to play and here he gets the trust he needs. We hope this is something we can do on a permanent basis."

- Tonev to feature? -

Celtic may have winger Aleksandar Tonev available for the visit of second-placed Inverness on Saturday after they confirmed they would appeal his seven-match ban for racially abusing Aberdeen defender Shay Logan.

The on-loan Aston Villa player was charged following an incident with Logan during a match in September.

Elsewhere on Saturday, surprise league leaders Hamilton Academical will look to bounce back from a disappointing week as they host Partick Thistle at New Douglas Park.

Alex Neil's side were in impressive form until after back-to-back defeats to Dundee and Aberdeen, the latter in the League Cup, and will want to get back to winning ways against Thistle.

Third-placed Dundee United, who needed penalties to beat second-tier Hibernian in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday, will hope their midweek exertions don't take their toll when they face St Mirren at Tannadice while Kilmarnock host Dundee.

Bottom-of-the-table Ross County take on Aberdeen on Monday night.

Fixtures (1500 GMT unless stated)


Celtic v Inverness CT, Dundee United v St Mirren, Hamilton v Partick Thistle, Kilmarnock v Dundee


Ross County v Aberdeen (1945 GMT)