Celtic adapting well to Ronny Deila system, says Stefan Johansen

Stefan Johansen and Ronny Deila
Stefan Johansen and Ronny Deila were together at their previous club, Stromsgodset

Celtic are improving because the players are adapting to Ronny Deila's system rather than the manager modifying it to suit his squad.

So says midfielder Stefan Johansen, who was followed by his fellow Norwegian to Glasgow from Stromsgodset this summer.

"I don't think he has changed much," he said when asked to compare the system at Celtic and their previous club.

"He believes in the way he wants to play, but what we are seeing now is the team starting to adapt to it."

Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen
"In the national team, I play as a defensive midfielder and here I play a bit more advanced, but it's good for me as I can play them both."

Much has been made of Deila's emphasis on diet, but it is something that Johansen was used to in Norway.

"It is just normal to eat healthily and that's just what professionals do," said the 23-year-old.

Celtic have made a stuttering start under Deila, failing to qualify for the Champions League group stage and currently trailing surprise Scottish Premiership leaders Hamilton Academical by six points.

"We haven't got the results we want, but the way we try to play now is the right way to go and I think we will start to get the results," said Johansen.

"He has some details in the game he wants to put in like playing from behind and attacking full-backs and he likes to have possession of the ball.

"He is challenging people and he's doing the right thing; to play the football the fans want to see - attacking football."

Celtic recovered from a 1-0 defeat by Accies by thrashing the Premiership's basement side, Ross County, 5-0.

Celtic's Callum McGregor celebrates scoring against Ross County
Celtic thrashed Ross County 5-0 at Dingwall at the weekend

"We lost against Hamilton and it wasn't good enough at Celtic Park and we wanted to bounce back straight away and in a good way as well," said Johansen.

"It was a good game for us - and important. It is starting to look good now and everybody is in a good shape."

Johansen earned praise for his display in a more forward position against County in the absence of the injured Kris Commons, but it is not necessarily a role the Norwegian expects to fill every week.

"In the national team, I play as a defensive midfielder and here I play a bit more advanced, but it's good for me as I can play them both," he added.

"I like to attack, but I also like to get on the ball to control the game.

"Kris is a great player and showed what he is capable of last season. He scored over 30 goals, I think.

"I think the team showed that we can play without him as well and it is important that we show we don't need him all the time."

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