Celtic: 'Small things' went against us - Ronny Deila

Leigh Griffiths
Leigh Griffiths missed a penalty as Celtic lost to Ross County

Manager Ronny Deila asked Celtic fans to recognise the positives in his team after they lost their League Cup semi-final to Ross County at Hampden.

Efe Ambrose was sent off and Leigh Griffiths missed a penalty as Celtic lost 3-1 to Jim McIntyre's men.

"People will see that we were very good at the start of the game and we have been very good lately," Deila told BBC Scotland.

"It was a day when small things went against us."

The Scottish Premiership leaders face Aberdeen on Wednesday, when they will defend a six-point lead over the second-placed side.

"We need to go on and we have three days to bounce back and win against Aberdeen," said Deila.

Celtic were in control of the semi-final after only 30 seconds, when Gary Mackay-Steven prodded Griffith's cut-back into the net.

But, 13 minutes later, the game was turned on its head when Ambrose fouled Alex Schalk in the box and Martin Woods scored after the Nigeria defender was sent off.

Paul Quinn headed County ahead and Schalk made it three before Griffiths had a penalty saved after Brian Graham was adjudged to have handled in the box.

"I think we started very well and the first 15 minutes was fantastic football," said Deila.

"Then the red card comes and it changes the game, but we controlled the game after that until the break."

The Norwegian thought referee Craig Thomson got it wrong in awarding County's second goal, before which goalkeeper Craig Gordon appeared to be fouled.

"It is a clear free-kick," he said. "It should never be a goal. They just pushed him out of the goal."

Asked if it was a penalty when Ambrose challenged Schalk, Deila said: "He touched him, but I don't think he would have reached the ball.

"I think Craig Gordon would have saved it. It was a very hard decision for the referee."

Deila said he was "disappointed" by the defeat but added: "We are in a good position in the league and still in the Scottish Cup, so we still have things to fight for."

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