Celtic play down Jason Denayer concern for Inter Milan trip

Celtic's Jason Denayer and Accies' Darian Mackinnon
Jason Denayer (left) was taken off at half-time against Hamilton

Celtic manager Ronny Deila eased injury fears over key defender Jason Denayer before Thursday's Europa League second leg at Inter Milan.

On-loan Denayer was taken off at half-time as Celtic went three points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership by beating Hamilton Academical 4-0.

Deila, whose side held Italian giants Inter to a 3-3 draw in Glasgow, told BBC Scotland: "He's good.

"It was just cramp he had in his calf and we're not taking any chances."

When the centre-back departed, Celtic were still to break the deadlock, but four second-half goals had their manager in good heart as they head to Italy.

"We had a good game," Deila said. "We had more than 70% possession and they did not have one chance.

"But they are hard to play against when they play so deep.

Celtic striker John Guidetti celebrates scoring
John Guidetti scored on the day he was linked with a move to Marseille

"We're looking forward to going to Milan. It's a very tough task, but everything is possible and I see an opportunity there."

Striker Anthony Stokes was again missing from the Celtic squad, having been left out in midweek for his late return from a trip back to his Irish homeland.

However, Deila insisted it was a tactical rather than a disciplinary decision this time.

"I am looking for improvement and Stokesey has things he has to improve and he knows what it is," he said.

"I have my belief in Stokesey and he will come back."

Midfielder Kris Commons scored twice as he returned from injury, while striker John Guidetti struck again having also netted against Inter.

Asked about reports linking the latter with a move to Marseille in the summer, Deila said: "That's new to me, but I think it will not be the last club we'll hear about.

"He should stay here at Celtic. He's enjoying his stay and is going to get better."

Martin Canning (right) challenges Celtic striker John Guidetti
Martin Canning (right) is still waiting for a win after eight games as player-manager

Celtic are hoping to sign the on-loan 22-year-old permanently when his Manchester City contract ends in the summer.

"I just want to stay focused on being here," Guidetti said. "I am loving every minute of it right now.

"It is a great football club and we'll see what happens at the end of the season."

Hamilton left Celtic Park still in fifth place but without a win in eight games since Martin Canning became player-manager.

He said their task had been made more difficult following injuries to himself, Ziggy Gordon and Grant Gillespie that forced second-half substitutions.

"For the first hour, we were well in the game - albeit Celtic had a lot of the ball - but that's always going to be the case when you come here," he added.

"The players did what I'd asked them to do and then, when you lose the first goal, it becomes a difficult day from there.

"There's positives to take from every game, albeit the results haven't been right.

"I didn't think it was a 4-0 game, but that's the quality Celtic have."

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