sport

Deila wants maximum in opener

Ronny Deila wants the maximum reward, all three points, from Celtic's opening Scottish Premiership trip to St Johnstone on Wednesday night.

Norwegian Deila is looking forward to his first taste of competitive domestic action ahead of unfurling the 2013-14 championship flag prior to Saturday's home game against Dundee United.

\"Dundee United and St Johnstone are quite similar in some ways,\" he said. \"They are both well organised teams, who work hard for one another and have good team spirit.

\"I have been watching St Johnstone and I know they are a very good, organised team. They're hard-working and did a very good job in Europe so we know it's going to be a tough, tight game, as it always is there.

\"We have to be up for the game and get our tempo up in the match so we can create more chances than we have done in the past two games.

\"It's important to get off to a good start and it's good that we are getting started now. The league is very important as we can win titles and get the opportunity to play in Europe. It's going to be a very exciting season and I'm looking forward to starting now.\"

Meanwhile, Deila's assistant, John Collins, took issue with some of the criticism from supporters who are questioning the club's summer recruitment policy of bringing in loan players and free agents.

England goalkeeper Fraser Forster has left Parkhead for Southampton but Collins told Sky Sports News: "We're looking for new players in every department. Like most clubs it's not easy to get players in at this time of year but we'll continue to look though there's no point in diving in and getting the wrong players.

"The important thing is we're patient and we get the right players. It's not easy but we're still looking. Obviously it's very disappointing about Fraser leaving but he's been a great servant for the club.

"We all know the club got a good offer, Fraser wanted to move on for a new challenge and thankfully we've brought in Craig Gordon, a Scotland international.

"He's been out of the game a while but he's trained and he's a top quality goalkeeper. We've got Lukasz Zaluska as well so we've got two good goalkeepers."

Collins, like Deila, is looking forward to the McDiarmaid Park fixture saying: "We never played at the weekend so the boys are really looking forward to it.

"As usual we're going up there, and going to have a good crowd. We'll want to attack, score goals and obviously we want to get all three points, that's the objective.

"It won't be easy. St Johnstone got off to a good start at the weekend, three points so they'll be nice and confident but it's a game we're really looking forward to."

Collins thinks there are three realistic rivals in with a chance of stopping Celtic completing four straight Scottish titles.

He said: "I thought Aberdeen would be our main challengers but Dundee United have made a few good signings in the summer and got a 3-0 victory up at Aberdeen.

"But Motherwell have done terrifically well the last few years so I think those will be the three teams chasing us."

Watch Celtic take on St Johnstone live from McDiarmid Park from 7.30pm this Wednesday on Sky Sports 5