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Johansen explains the message Deila gave him over his Celtic role

Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen has explained what he was told by Ronny Deila about the way he wanted him to play.

Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen has told the Glasgow Evening Times the message manager Ronny Deila gave him about his role at the Bhoys.

The pair had worked together during their time at Stromsgodset and Deila deserves credit for the way he’s got the best out of Johansen this season, with him eventually named as the Scottish PFA’s Player of the Year.

“The manager told me that he wanted me to play a little differently, that I should always be thinking about being on the attack,” he said.

“He is the type of manager who gives you freedom on the ball - He lets you be unafraid with the ball. He wants you to be the best you can be and although he drives you very hard he also allows you to make a mistake.”

Johansen is ideally suited to playing at the top of Celtic’s midfield because he has several natural qualities, which allow him to be creative in possession.

He’s bagged eight goals in the Scottish Premiership this season, which shows he has a good eye for goal and he understands the movement and positional play of the club’s other attacking players.

He has been asked to play in a deeper role at times over the season, but that’s a position, which arguably mutes the influence he has in terms of changing games, placing more defensive responsibility onto his shoulders.

That’s not something that suits him or he’s used to and it’s important Deila finds another player who can do that role and if that means snapping someone up in the transfer market, he shouldn’t be worried about spending so Johansen can focus on his main strengths.

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