Celtic v Inter: Ronny Deila sees tie as marker of side's progress

Ronny Deila, John Collins and John Kennedy
Celtic manager Ronny Deila, centre, admits Inter Milan are the favourites for Thursday's game
Celtic v Inter Milan, Europa League last 32
Venue: Celtic Park Date: Thursday 19 February Kick-off: 20:05 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW & DAB digital radio; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Ronny Deila says the Europa League round of 32 game with Inter Milan will help him judge how far Celtic have come in their development this season.

After a tough start to life as manager, Deila has presided over an excellent run of form in which Celtic have won their last eight games.

But he knows Thursday's first leg with Inter will be a considerable test.

"We will get a lot of answers tomorrow - how good are Celtic right now and how good are we individually," said Deila.

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Lisbon Lions rate Celtic's chances versus Inter

"We've had many big matches and maybe this is the biggest challenge I've had so far as manager of Celtic.

"We have a very exciting squad, we have many young players who are just at the beginning of their careers and these matches are important to improve and to show what level you are at.

"I have a very good feeling, I think we are a very strong unit now and we have good togetherness."

Serie A side Inter go into the match in Glasgow having registered two wins in succession, but they have endured a difficult season and are currently 10th in Serie A.

Deila, however, says Inter have been improving under the Italian club's manager Roberto Mancini, who took over for the second time in November.

"Inter Milan have a lot of history and they brought in good players in the transfer window," he added.

"It will be tough but if we can perform as good as we can do, we will have a good chance to get a good result - and if that is a draw then we have to be happy with that.

"It seems they [Inter] have stepped up a bit and when you see the individual players they have you know we're going to meet a very good football team."

Celtic famously beat Inter in the European Cup final in 1967.

Kris Commons
Kris Commons trained on Wednesday but Ronny Deila says no chances will be taken with the midfielder

Deila is convinced the home crowd can help his side secure a huge win on Thursday before they travel to the San Siro to play the second leg, scheduled for Thursday 26 February.

"With a full house here at Celtic Park it's going to be a very good game," he added. "It's going to be an unbelievable atmosphere - we have the best supporters in the world in my opinion, and that's going to help us.

"One of the reasons Celtic have had so many good results at home is the fans and the stadium, and we have to use that to our advantage."

Deila said that midfielder Kris Commons trained on Wednesday despite a recent hamstring injury, but insisted the 31-year-old will only play if he is 100% fit.

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