Celtic: Ronny Deila thrilled to see Stefan Scepovic break his duck

Stefan Scepovic celebrates
Stefan Scepovic moved to Celtic in the summer from Spanish side Sporting Gijon in a £2m deal

Manager Ronny Deila was delighted to see Stefan Scepovic finally get off the mark as Celtic beat Astra Giurgiu 2-1 in the Europa League.

The Serbian striker, signed in the summer, missed a host of great chances before he opened the scoring with a second-half header to break his duck.

"I'm happy for him that he gets the goal," Deila told BBC Scotland.

"I kept him on the pitch because he was getting chances and I know what a goalscorer he is."

Stefan Johansen added the second before Gabriel Enache replied for the Romanians, but Celtic held on to stay top of Group D with seven points from three games.

Scepovic arrived in a £2m deal from Spanish club Sporting Gijon and Deila expects him to now go from strength to strength.

"We know what he has, he is always in front of goal smelling the chances and, in the end, he got a very good goal," the Norwegian said.

"He really wants to score for this club. He was tense before the game and it was a big relief for him when he scored.

"I'm sure this will not be his last goal for the club. When you score your first goal, you become more confident."

Stefan Scepovic
Stefan Scepovic missed several glaring opportunities before finally breaking his Celtic scoring duck

The visitors had the best of the first-half openings and Deila admitted that it was down to "stupid mistakes" and "bad passing" from his charges.

He was "very happy" with the win but is looking for improvements.

"When we went to 2-0, I hoped the game was over, but they came back and that was disappointing," the manager added.

"We want to get better and get things quicker, but we had a lot of possession in the game, especially in the first half. In the end, we had eight chances, which is not so bad, but things should go quicker."

Salzburg beat Dinamo Zagreb 4-2 in the other Group D game on Thursday night.

Celtic visit Romania next, knowing another win over Astra will clinch qualification if Salzburg see off the Croatians again.

However, Deila said: "I never take anything for granted. There is a lot of hard work left."

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