Glasgow (AFP) – Departing Celtic manager Ronny Deila says the club’s youngsters can play a big part for the Glasgow giants next season after several of them starred in a 7-0 thrashing of Motherwell on the final day of the season.
Scotland’s young player of the year Kieran Tierney started the scoring with his first goal for the Hoops before Australian international Tom Rogic and Mikael Lustig made it 3-0 at the break.
The onslaught continued in the second half with goals from Stuart Armstrong, Patrick Roberts and Ryan Christie before Jack Aitchison capped a memorable day as he fired home with his first touch of the match seconds after coming on as a substitute.
In doing so, he become the youngest ever player to play for the club at 16 years and 71 days.
With four teenagers on the score-sheet the club’s out-going boss thinks the future looks bright for the Scottish champions, who were presented with the Premiership trophy following the match.
“It was a good performance from a young team who I think are the future of this club,” Deila said.
“There is so much talent here and it is great to let these guys have the opportunity.
“The academy is a very important part of this club — they have done a very good job. It is so good to get the youngsters on the pitch and for them to perform so well.
“They can be great in the future but they need experience around them as well. You can see when they play freely how good they can be.
“You saw today that if you play without pressure what the outcome can be.
“What is important is that the fans give the young players a lot of support to get the best out of them.
“They have to manage to play under that pressure as well. That is the next stage for a lot of them.”
Deila, who led the club to three trophies in two years at Celtic Park, made the decision to leave the club after coming in for criticism following semi-final defeats to Old Firm rivals Rangers and Ross County as well as some disappointing displays in Europe.
– ‘Did it my way’ –
And despite ending the season with such an emphatic result that sees Celtic top the table by 15 points from Aberdeen in second, the Norwegian believes he has made the right decision to leave.
“It felt right after I had done it but obviously after days like this it is tough,” Deila said.
“At the same time it was a happy ending. There has been ups and downs. You have to be honest and say things have been very good and things have been very bad.
“I think what you saw today is something that can be built on. With new fresh energy coming in I think they will go for more trophies and hopefully better results in Europe.
“People understand that things have been up and down but you can only do your best and also be humble enough to know enough is enough.
“I don’t know if I did it perfect or not but I did it my way and it will be a good memory.
“I was just myself and did what I believed in. I think everyone could see I have given everything and want to play offensive style football and want to control games and give some youngsters a chance as well.
“If you can do those things and win some trophies as well then you have done something right.”
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