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  • Former rival praises Celtic's new manager

    Former rival praises Celtic's new manager

    By: Rob Stewart on 09 Jun, 2014 08:22

  • If it is true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Celtic’s new manager has been paid the ultimate compliment by one of his former rivals in Norway.

    Having watched Ronny Deila guide Stromsgodset to the Norwegian championship, former England and Leeds United striker Brian Deane has revealed that he is trying to follow his own blueprint for success in Norway.

    In an exclusive interview, Deane, who is now managing Sarpsborg 08, has applauded Celtic’s appointment of Deila and expressed confidence that he will be a hit with the fans and the players alike.

    “I suppose the best compliment I can pay Ronny is that we are trying to model our club on the way they have done things under him at Stromsgodset,” Deane told the official Celtic website.

    “They weren’t a big club and they didn’t have a bottomless pit of funds to develop the club but he has brought on a lot of good young players and Stromsgodset ended up as the champions of Norway because of that strategy.

    “He gave the youngsters their chance and it paid huge dividends for Stromsgodset. We are probably five or six years behind Stromsgodset but we see the model Ronny put in place as the way forward for us.

    “We don’t have a huge pot of cash but we look to youth like Ronny has done. He’s been inspirational and I'm confident that this will turn out to be a fantastic appointment for both parties at Celtic.”

    Deane hailed Deila’s appointment as a courageous one but is certain it will reap rich rewards.

    “We will have to wait and see how he gets on but it is an interesting appointment and it’s a good reflection on Celtic that they have looked beyond the obvious candidates,” Deane said.

    “Ronny might not have a high-profile in the UK but what you have got is someone that is very ambitious and, overall, I think it is a bold and brave but good appointment.

    “He will bring something new to the table. He will bring in bright new ideas about doing things and that will hopefully invigorate Celtic and build on Neil Lennon’s success.”

    Deane, who enjoyed a distinguished playing career that also took him to Benfica, is now learning his trade as a manager in his first coaching role with Sarpsborg, and he has been impressed with the new Celtic manager.

    “I know that Ronny is very well-respected right across Scandinavia because of what he has achieved as a manager with Stromsgodset and that bodes well for Celtic,” the 46-year-old added.

    “It was obvious that sooner or later that Ronny was going to be looking for a new challenge and challenges don’t come much bigger than Celtic so I am delighted for him.

    “Not only has he turned Stromsgodset into champions but also he has done it in style. His team play some very good attacking and exciting football so Celtic fans will love his team’s style of play.

    “That will go down well with Celtic fans because it is a club that has a proud tradition of playing football in the right way so he will be right up their street.”

    Deane has pitted his wits against Deila on the touchline in Norway and was impressed with what he saw.

    “Ronny has come across as someone that is always humble in victory and he was always really good with me,” Deane said.

    “He is very popular with the players and he was one of the people who were seriously considered for the national team job that last time it became available.

    “Ronny built up a very strong team at Strom and he has also been a very likeable guy even though as a manager you always want to beat your opponent.

    “The good thing about Scandinavians is that they know a lot about British football so the sheer magnitude of Celtic Football Club will be no surprise to Ronny, and he will know a lot about the club because he sold Stefan Johansen, who is one of the best players in Norway, to Celtic last year.

    “He will know that it was a good step up for Stefan at a time when a lot of clubs that came in for him but it was the right move.”

    And Deane believes that Deila will be able to put his contacts across Europe to good use for Celtic as the battle for UEFA Champions League football looms.

    “He has a tremendous enthusiasm and tactical nous that means the players will like working with him and he will have them ready for the qualifying phase of the Champions League,” Deane said.

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