Ronny Deila explains why Nadir Ciftci has struggled at Celtic

Nadir Ciftci has spent the season behind Leigh Griffiths in Celtic’s team.

Ciftci has had to play back-up to Griffiths at Parkhead this season, and Ronny Deila has explained to the Evening Times that his struggles are down to a lack of consistency in his performance levels.

Deila said: “Nadir has shown quality, but he has been a little bit up and down. We need to get some consistency in his performances. It is hard to say what we need to do with him. It is a lot of things. The biggest thing is confidence and that has to be built through good performances in training and then in matches.”

Ciftci arrived at Celtic over the summer from Dundee United, expected to challenge Griffiths for the starting striker role in a 4-2-3-1 system.

The 23-year-old is seemingly better suited to that role than Griffiths due to his strength and physicality, but he has been nothing but a back-up option due to his rival’s form in front of goal.

With Griffiths scoring freely, Ciftci has been limited to just four goals in 20 appearances, and the majority of Celtic fans remain unconvinced that he was a wise signing by Deila.

Deila has claimed that Ciftci’s struggles are down to a lack of consistency in his performance levels, with the Turkish forward failing to ever perform at the top of his game.

He can score two goals - as he did against St Johnstone last week - but other times he appears to be far from a Premiership footballer.

Ciftci needs game time to improve and build up an understanding of his teammates and the system he is in, but whilst his form continues to desert him, it is hard to imagine Deila would risk leaving out Griffiths for the summer signing.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch