Ronny Deila has admitted that Celtic’s title hopes are under threat following their goalless draw against Dundee.
Celtic looked out of ideas and laboured through the game, mustering just four shots on target against the same side they put six goals past back in September at Paradise.
The Dees, who also rested several key players ahead of the Scottish Cup tie this weekend, looked organised and threatening in attack and could have even won the game.
Most of the players laboured around the field, passing sideways and put in a half-hearted performance, which should worry Deila and the fans.
Deila was asked in the post-match press conference if Celtic continue their poor performances would they be caught in the title race.
As quoted by the Scotsman, he said:
Yes, yes, that’s for sure.
You don’t need to think about it. We have to be at a totally different level But we also know how good we can be when we are at our best, so it is about details and getting the good feeling back again.
I am very, very disappointed. The whole team is very disappointed and the whole performance wasn’t good enough. There have been a few games in a row now when we have not shown our best.
Today it feels like we were always one metre behind. It wasn’t like it was one player worse than others. That’s about energy. We need to get confidence and energy into the team.
The players left the field at full-time to a chorus of boos as fans vented their anger at the poor performance.
Deila said that he fully understands the fans booing the players when the game ended and was worried by the level of the performance on display against the Dees.
I understand the fans are irritated, like we are. The players understand it as well. But I know the Celtic fans will stay behind their team. But we have to show ourselves as a better team than we were tonight.
If you don’t take three points at home, that is a worry. You can be unlucky, be we were not unlucky here. That’s what worries us.
Patrick Roberts made his debut, however it will be a game to forget for the youngster despite providing two of the bright sparks in the game.
Inside three minutes the 19-year-old drove infield leaving two players behind him and fired a shot at goal, only to see it deflected out for a corner.
Celtic’s best chance of the game came from the youngsters good play down the right wing on 75 minutes as he cut the ball back to Charlie Mulgrew, but his shot was matched by ‘keeper Scott Bain.
Deila will now be hoping for a reaction on Sunday from his players against Greenock Morton in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup on Sunday.