Deila’s farewell ‘couldn’t be better’

Ronny Deila celebrates with the Scottish Premiership trophy

Deila won successive league titles, but couldn’t inspire an overall improvement in performances

Ronny Deila admitted his final game as Celtic manager “couldn’t be better” as the Scottish Premiership champions celebrated by routing Motherwell 7-0.

The Norwegian’s farewell brought goals from six players aged 24 or under, including 16-year-old Jack Aitchison.

“It’s an emotional day, a fantastic day in every way,” he told BBC Scotland. “We played very, very well with a very young team and scored seven goals.

“There is so much talent here and these guys can be great in the future.”

Left-back Kieran Tierney, 18, celebrated his first goal for the club on his 33rd appearance of an outstanding debut season that also included a first outing for Scotland.

Patrick Roberts, 19, curled in his fourth goal in as many matches, while Ryan Christie, 21, was also on the scoresheet in only his sixth game under Deila since returning from a loan spell at former club Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

But the highlight was a goal with his first touch from Aitchison, who at 16 years and 71 days became the youngest player to represent Celtic in a competitive match.


Aitchison overtook Mark Fotheringham as Celtic’s youngest-ever player, scoring with his first touch

“The academy is a very important part of this club,” Deila noted. “They have done a very good job.

“It is so good to get the youngsters on the pitch and for them to perform so well.”

‘I didn’t know what to do when I scored’


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Deila says ‘Celtic can be great’

Aitchison, who had only been on the field for barely a minute, ran onto a through ball and calmly fired home a left-footed shot in the 78th minute.

“It is brilliant. Scoring with my first touch was an amazing feeling,” he said.

“I was supposed to be in for recovery work and then I got called into the squad to train yesterday – and then the match squad today.

“It is amazing. I have been dreaming of this since I was a wee boy.

“There was a great atmosphere when I scored – I didn’t know what to do!

“I just need to keep working hard and hopefully I will get more opportunities like this.”

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