Lennon gives advice to Celtic over Deila's future following Champions League exit

Ronny Deila

Neil Lennon believes Ronny Deila deserves more time at Celtic.

Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon has told the Daily Mail that former club Celtic should stick with manager Ronny Deila.

Lennon, 44, managed Celtic for over four years between 2010 and 2014, and whilst he won three Scottish Premiership titles, he also impressed in Europe.

With a run to the last 16 in 2012-13, Lennon certainly impressed on Europe's biggest stage - but the same can't be said for his successor Deila.

The Norwegian not only failed to get Celtic into the Champions League last summer despite being handed a reprieve against Legia Warsaw, but he has also encountered the same problem this year.

Deila watched his side beat Malmo 3-2 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off clash last week, meaning they just had to go to Sweden and avoid a defeat in order to get through.

However, Malmo coasted to a 2-0 victory over the Bhoys, meaning Celtic miss out on the TV revenues from the Champions League, whilst Deila's position has been brought into question.

Some fans believe the former Stromsgodset boss should now be under pressure, but Lennon has told the Daily Mail that Deila deserves another year to get it right in Europe.

"He deserves another chance. He has only been in the job a year," said Lennon "The Celtic board don’t go in for knee-jerk decisions. So, yeah, he deserves at least another season at it. These qualifiers are notoriously tough. They are the hardest games and the most important games."

"I have sympathy for Ronny, of course I do. Listen, I know that after a defeat of the magnitude of the other night, hysteria follows it. It’s always the case. You’ve just got to take a step back from it and try to evaluate where it went wrong," he added.

Deila will of course be expected to win the Scottish Premiership title once again this season, but supporters want to see more from their side, especially in Europe.

A strong run in the Europa League this season would go some way to appeasing Celtic fans again - yet should Deila struggle in that competition too, the pressure will certainly mount on him this season.

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