Celtic: Ronny Deila delighted with side's progress on winter trip

Celtic manager Ronny Deila
Ronny Deila's Celtic side are four points behind Scottish Premiership leaders Aberdeen

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has declared himself happy with his side's winter training camp in Gran Canaria.

The Scottish champions lost their two friendly games on the trip - 1-0 to PSV Eindhoven and 3-2 to Sparta Prague.

But Deila insists the warm weather camp has proved worthwhile.

"I think we got what we wanted out of the tournament, we had a good time together and played two matches against good opponents," the Norwegian told the Celtic website.external-link

Deila's side took the lead against Sparta on Tuesday through Leigh Griffiths, but the Czech side hit back with three first-half goals.

Youngster Joe Thomson reduced the deficit after the break but Sparta saw out the game.

"We had a good start to the game, especially in the first 20 minutes, but at the end of the first-half we were too open and we conceded some stupid chances," Deila added.

Joe Thomson scores for Celtic
Youngster Joe Thomson scored Celtic's second in the 3-2 defeat to Sparta Prague on Tuesday

"In the second half we came back into it and had a very good 45 minutes. So I'm pleased with the performance but it was two easy goals we conceded."

The trip allowed players such as Charlie Mulgrew, Mikael Lustig and Jason Denayer to return to action following injury.

Youngsters Thomson, Paul McMullan, Calum Waters and Jamie Lindsay also picked up some game time.

"It has been a long time since Jason [Denayer] has played and he played okay, but it's just the start for him," Deila added. "He came off after the first half so we wouldn't take any chances.

"Joe played well, together with Paul McMullan who did a good job and Jamie Lindsay who did very well today.

"It's nice to see. They have grown a lot in only a week and they have got some confidence from taking part with the first-team, and that's very important.

"Now it's very positive with the players who have been out with injury as a lot of them are available now and we have a strong squad going into the return to domestic action."

Deila's Celtic, who are second in the Scottish Premiership, four points behind Aberdeen, take on Hamilton Academical on Saturday at New Douglas Park.

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