Nir Bitton admits he 'didn't understand' what Deila expected of him

But the Celtic star is is on the same wavelength as his manager now...

Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton admits he 'didn't understand' what boss Ronny Deila wanted from him at the start of the season, according to the Scotsman.

The 23-year-old has spent spells on the sidelines this season and says the spells that came at the beginning of the campaign were confusing for him, as he wasn't quite sure what Deila expected of him.

And Bitton admits his natural response was to blame his manager, although he began to reconsider his own approach upon reflection.

"At the beginning of the season there were a couple of things I didn’t understand in terms of what he 
expected from me," the Celtic midfielder said.

“Sometimes you need a conversation with the gaffer to understand what he expects from you as a player and a professional. Of course I had to look at myself. When you don’t play, the first thing you say to yourself is, ‘It’s the gaffer’s fault.’ That’s what everybody says!"

However, Bitton is now singing from the same hymn sheet as his Norwegian coach and says he understood the need to adapt.

Not playing made the Celtic star even hungrier for success - whereas many players may not have responded in the same manner.

“I understood that I needed to change myself, that I needed to improve," Bitton explained.

“As a professional, when you don’t play, it should make you want success even more. The easiest thing for me would have been to not care and just go back to Israel and not want to be here anymore. That’s not me. I just wanted to show everyone that I deserved to play."

Celtic face Dundee United in the Scottish League Cup final this Sunday afternoon, a clash the 23-year-old is hopeful of returning to fitness for having been out injured of late.

The Bhoys faced the same side last Sunday - in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals - and drew 1-1 at Tannadice, meaning they will play out a replay at Celtic Park.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch