sport

Delia looks to capital gains

Ronny Deila has told his Celtic side they will have "no excuses" for failing to perform at the home of Scottish rugby in the second leg of their Champions League second qualifier against KR Reykjavik on Tuesday night.

The match is being played on a brand new pitch at Murrayfield in Edinburgh as Celtic Park is out of commission due its use in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Hoops are 1-0 up from the first leg in Iceland and will face either Polish side Legia Warsaw or Irish outfit Patrick's Athletic in the next qualifier if, as expected, they see off the Icelandic side.

After looking at the playing surface, a mixture of grass and artificial fibres, in the Scottish capital Deila gave it a ringing endorsement.

"It is fantastic," said the Norwegian. "It is a very good pitch. I don't think there will be any problem.

"The team will have the support and that is important and the pitch is perfect. So no excuses."

Charlie Mulgrew, skipper in the first leg in the absence of Scott Brown, who is out long term with a hamstring injury, was equally praiseworthy of the new pitch.

He said: "If you are not going to play at your home stadium then this is just the perfect place.

"Everything is perfect about it, the pitch, everything, it will be fine.

"Preparations have been fine and everything has gone smoothly. It is just another place to play, and it is a great place.

"We hope to get as many fans as we can in. We all know what Celtic fans are like in the Champions League for us so hopefully we can get them behind us (Tuesday) night."

Deila has only added former Hearts and Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon to his squad so far and he may not even be on the bench if regular number two Lukasz Zaluska is named as back-up to England cap Fraser Forster.

The former Stromsgodset boss continues on the search for new players and added: "We are working to try to get someone in. It is a bad time, it costs more money. It is also about finding the right ones. I am after quality," he said.

"It has to be someone who can come straight in and do something at once and that is very difficult. Or get a player who will be a good player in a while.

"Some clubs haven't started training yet again, so we have to find the right options.

"If the players aren't going to make the team better then it is better to wait. But we hope to get players in to make the team better and make Celtic better as a club."

Mulgrew revealed his pride at being handed the armband by Deila last week, saying, "Growing up a Celtic fan, and looking at the players that have captained the side in the past, it was a great achievement for myself.

"I was delighted. It was a proud moment."