PENDING SUNDAY Deila backs Celtic to bounce back at Dundee

AFP
Celtic manager Ronny Deila backs his side to bounce back from their European disappointment when they face Dundee in their Scottish Premiership clash
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Celtic manager Ronny Deila backs his side to bounce back from their European disappointment when they face Dundee in their Scottish Premiership clash (AFP Photo/Jan-Morten Bjoernbakk)

Glasgow (AFP) - Celtic manager Ronny Deila has backed his side to bounce back from their European disappointment when they face Dundee in their Scottish Premiership clash on Sunday.

The Hoops crashed out of the Champions League for a second time on Tuesday when NK Maribor's 1-0 win at Celtic helped the Slovenians claim a 2-1 aggregate win in their play-off match.

The tie with Maribor was Celtic's second chance to reach the group stage of the Champions League after they were reinstated into the competition.

Their second-leg defeat by Legia Warsaw in the previous round was reversed to a 3-0 win after the Poles fielded an ineligible player in the last few minutes, resulting in an away goals win for Celtic.

Tuesday's loss to Maribor was their fourth in just nine competitive matches under new manager Deila, who was criticised for making 10 changes to his side in the 1-0 loss to Inverness last weekend.

Next up for the Scottish champions is newly-promoted Dundee, who are yet to taste defeat since their return to the top flight.

However, Deila retains faith in his side and is confident they can avoid a third straight defeat.

"We are mostly thinking about ourselves," Deila said.

"We want to bounce back and we will be going into the game doing everything we can to win it and have a good start in the league."

One player who could feature at Dens Park is Ghanaian international Mubarak Wakaso.

The 24-year-old arrived at Celtic Park on a season-long loan from Russian side Rubin Kazan on Wednesday.

Wakaso had spells in Spain at Espanyol, Villarreal and Elche and Deila is happy to have added the 19-times capped winger to his squad.

"We've been looking for speed and hardworking wingers, with good deliveries and he is a good player with good experience as well," the Celtic manager said.

"He will be a new player coming into the squad who will strengthen us and I'm looking forward to seeing him on the pitch."

Elsewhere on Saturday, managerless Ross County head to New Douglas Park to take on Hamilton. County, who sacked Derek Adams on Thursday, are without a point from their opening four fixtures while newly-promoted Hamilton sit in second position with three straight wins.

Aberdeen, with just three points from their opening three games, will attempt to get their season back on track when they welcome Partick Thistle to Pittodrie and pointless St Mirren take on Dundee United at New St Mirren Park.

League leaders Inverness Caledonian Thistle host Kilmarnock while Motherwell will try to end a run of three straight defeats when they welcome St Johnstone to Fir Park.

Fixtures (1500 unless otherwise stated)

Saturday

Aberdeen v Partick Thistle

Hamilton v Ross County

Inverness CT v Kilmarnock

Motherwell v St Johnstone

St Mirren v Dundee United

Sunday

Dundee v Celtic (1230)

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