Mark Wilson gives verdict on importance of Rangers tie for Ronny Deila

Ronny Deila

The former Celtic midfielder believes the Hoops manager could "go a long way" to securing his position for next season by beating the Gers.

Former Celtic midfielder Mark Wilson has told Sky Sports that victory over Rangers would "go a long way" to securing Ronny Deila's position as manager of the club, whereas defeat would leave it difficult for him to continue.

Deila has been criticised this season as the Bhoys have been unconvincing at times in the Scottish Premiership, as well as being knocked out of the Champions League in the play-off round before finishing winless at the bottom of their Europa League group.

Despite the fact that the Hoops are on course to win a fifth consecutive league title, there have been some suggestions that the Norwegian's job could be seriously at risk if Celtic lose to their arch-rivals in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park next weekend.

Wilson, who played 131 times in 6-and-a-half years at for the Parkhead club, admits that Deila's position will be far from secure in the event of a defeat but believes that victory would take him a big step towards consolidating his position.

The 31-year-old told Sky Sports: "Ronny would go a long way to keeping his job if he wins this game. Some of the doubters he's had all season would slowly start to turn in his favour again, another double would be on the cards, and he'd go a long way towards securing his job in the summer.

"If he loses it, he's only got one trophy, and it doesn't look good for him next year. He's been scrutinised at every turn, and in the big games he's come up short for Celtic this season - and there's no bigger game than the Old Firm.

"He's won one already but the gap between the two teams isn't as wide as it was last year. For Ronny Deila to lose this, he'd have a lot of Celtic fans on his back again - and that brings a lot of pressure."

Celtic are regarded as strong favourites to win the clash but will be wary of their rivals, who have won the Scottish Championship in imperious fashion and added a second trophy on Sunday with a 4-0 win over Peterhead in the Challenge Cup final.

Though both sides, particularly Rangers, are likely to do considerable business in the summer transfer window, the upcoming semi-final, as well as being vitally important for both sides in its own right, will serve as something as a dress rehearsal ahead of the Gers returning to the top flight to renew their rivalry on a regular basis after a four-year absence.

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