Celtic 1-0 Partick Thistle: Ronny Deila desperate to keep Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk
Defender Virgil van Dijk has scored three goals in his last two games

Celtic manager Ronny Deila is determined to ward off any interest in Virgil van Dijk, after seeing the Dutch defender score the winner against Partick Thistle.

Van Dijk volleyed home in the second half at Celtic Park - his third goal in two games - to send the champions three points clear of Inverness at the top of the Premiership.

"Virgil is a very important player," Deila told BBC Scotland.

"He is a leader in the group and on the pitch he is performing week in week out, again we had a clean sheet and Virgil was very good today, scoring another goal.

"We are building a team around him and of course we want to keep him."

Celtic passed up plenty of chances against the Maryhill men, who almost snatched a draw late on when Kris Doolan drew a great stop from goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

"We had a fantastic save from Craig Gordon at the end," added Deila. "We should have finished the game off in an earlier moment and we need to be more effective with our chances, but sometimes it's like that.

"We have played better but I'm happy with the points. We deserved to win as we created a lot of chances but we have more to go."

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald took heart from his side's display at a venue where they shipped six goals without reply in the League Cup earlier this season.

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald
Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald felt his side should have been more clinical in front of goal

"The biggest disappointment is they scored from a set play," Archibald told BBC Scotland.

"We kept them quiet enough and rode our luck a bit with a couple of good saves, but we had two very good chances of our own.

"I thought we could have passed the ball better first half, in the second half we moved it a bit better and got a couple of crosses into the box that we probably should have scored from.

"We lost 6-0 here the last time so the boys showed good character to come here and put their foot on the ball at times, pass the ball and create a few chances.

"If we keep everyone fit we've got every chance of climbing up the table, we've got to take the confidence from tonight."