Football

Ronnie Deila's under-fire Celtic go four points clear

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It's not very often that a manager, sitting four points clear at the top of his domestic league finds himself under pressure, but that is the unique situation Celtic coach Ronny Deila finds himself in.

Deila's team beat struggling Dundee United on Sunday thanks to goals from Kris Commons (2), Dedryck Boyata, Leigh Griffiths and an own goal, but many of the club's fan base are unimpressed by the lack of progress in Europe and feel it is time for the Norwegian to move on.

The 40-year-old took over at Celtic Park in June 2014 - after Neil Lennon decided to move on - and he got off to a difficult start, attempting to take Celtic to the Champions League group stages.

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The Hoops made the final playoff round after an administrative error handed them a 3-0 win over Legia Warsaw, but they could only draw away before losing at home to Slovenian champions Maribor, confirming they would miss out on the lucrative group stages.

Deila restored some pride by coming through the Europa League group stages and a 4-3 aggregate defeat to Internazionale made some fans believe progress was being made, but this does not appear to be the case currently.

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Celtic negotiated their first two qualifiers against Stjarnan and Qarabag, but they were beaten 4-3 on aggregate by Swedish champions Malmo at the final hurdle which meant, once again, they went into Europe's second tier competition and not the Champions League group stage the fans desire so greatly.

The Europa League campaign hasn't gone particularly well either, with two points from their opening three games. They threw away leads in 2-2 draws with Ajax and Fenerbahce and a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Molde last week appears to have been the final straw for many fans.

Deila now faces back-to-back home games with the Norwegians and the Dutch to try and save the club's continental ambitions. Regardless of how many SPL games he wins, it will be results in Europe the fans will judge their manager on.

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