Ronny Deila may be chasing down a famous treble but the Norwegian has admitted his first 6 months at Celtic were very tough on him mentally.
While trying to get the team playing the way he wanted to there were inconsistent results as well as being knocked out of the Champions League before it really got going. These were tough results to take at the time and many in the fan base and the media called for Ronny’s dismissal as Celtic manager. A call at the time that was very pre-mature and it turns out it would have been.
Ronny has spoken openly about his struggles and the things he had to overcome to get Celtic on the winning path.
“I have to admit the first six months were tough mentally because you have to really learn a lot of new things and get settled,’ said Ronny.
“One thing is the language, the culture is another and then you have to know new opponents, your own team, understand what Celtic is all about and Scottish football.”
‘There are so many things to take in and it’s so easy to push too hard and then you don’t get any time for reflection and you just get tired and then you can meet hard games and hard periods. You have nothing to push against.’
Ronny came in with his own footballing philosophy and wanted the players to understand what he expected of them from the start. He praised the players for how they reacted to the changes.
“The players really wanted it. No problem at all. But my way of playing is quite difficult, it’s a lot of things. It’s not straightforward, a lot of relations and rules that we have to get into the players.
“That takes time to get into. It’s so important to understand if you go back to the big managers they had before, Neil (Lennon) and (Gordon) Strachan and Martin (O’Neill), they also struggled in the beginning. It wasn’t only me. Peter was saying that the whole time – relax, you’re not the first, we’ve been through this before. But it’s harder for a Norwegian guy coming in, who’s unknown, as opposed to someone coming in with a big name.”
Since turning Celtic’s fortunes around Ronny is looking to the future. He is hungry for more trophies and success with the team.
It’s fun,’ he said. ‘I want to win more trophies. I feel good. I’ve managed now to enjoy the week better in the past when everything in management was new and stressful.
‘Mentally, I’m in a very good place which is why I’m saying I’m enjoying the moments right now and looking forward to the games. We have built the foundation and now the fun part is starting – to build relationships into the team and get the systems even better and quicker.”