Celtic legend Davie Hay has explained in the Glasgow Evening Times that he feels the club’s manager Ronny Deila has been preparing for Europe since last winter.
Deila oversaw a double in his first season in charge of the Bhoys and has signed some very good players in the transfer market, with defender Dedryck Boyata the latest after his move was confirmed earlier this week.
Hay feels that it all points towards Deila wanting his team to prepare for a strong challenge in Europe, which is one of the areas the club fell short last season.
“It is an encouraging sign that players are being drafted in so early. In many ways Ronny Deila will feel that he is well on in terms of his European preparations,” he said.
“He was also able to get Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven into the club in January.”
“The carrot of Champions League football can be a significant one for players but the task still remains that the club has to actually get there.”
The Champions League is an important platform for Celtic for a variety of reasons with the most obvious the financial benefits it creates.
The extra income from gate receipts and corporate cash, as well as the extra TV rights and sponsorship opportunities are all things that Celtic can boast, which their rivals don’t benefit from.
Deila is also a manager who is constantly looking for his players to improve. He’s always challenging them and isn’t the sort of manager who will allow anyone to become remotely complacent.
The Champions League exposes Celtic’s players to a higher level of competition and quality.
One of the only ways for players and teams to get better is by playing against teams with stronger individual talents, but firstly, Celtic have to make sure they qualify this summer.