Celtic: Aberdeen not out of title race - Ronny Deila

Celtic have beat Aberdeen three times this season
Celtic have beaten Aberdeen three times this season

Celtic manager Ronny Deila says Aberdeen counterpart Derek McInnes is attempting to play mind games by claiming the league title race is over.

The Dons are in second place but McInnes has conceded that the Scottish Premiership crown is out of reach.

Five points separate the two sides with a handful of games left, with Celtic having a game in hand.

"We have to win a lot more games and it's way too far to say it is over," said Deila.

The Norwegian, who is in his first season as Celtic boss, is aiming for a domestic treble, having already won the Scottish League Cup and with a Scottish Cup semi-final looming against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Sunday.

However, he stresses that the pressure is increasing on his players as the season progresses.

"The league is getting closer and closer and there's everything to play for and I see that in the eyes of the players," he said.

"To win leagues and cups, you have to win every game and that's a hard thing. Few have done it before."

Ronny Deila (right) at Celtic training
Ronny Deila says the pressure is building on his team as the season progresses

Deila and assistant manager John Collins were at Rugby Park on Sunday as Aberdeen survived the concession of a late penalty to defeat Kilmarnock 2-1.

The Celtic manager realises that the Dons have a much smaller budget but is not shocked to see them still in contention for the Premiership title.

"I'm not surprised, but I am impressed," said Deila, whose side entertain Kilmarnock on Wednesday. "I think they are a good team.

"They win even games, they score a lot of goals and they've been consistent.

"I think they've done a very good job up there and they have a consistency in what they are doing and have some good players."

It is the first time Deila will experience the Scottish top flight splitting into two sections of six teams for the final round of fixtures.

"I think it looks positive," he added. "I think it's good to finish the season with a lot of excitement from the bottom up to the top and you get the best games at the end of the season.

"We have worked so hard now for so many months to get to this position and we have to really enjoy it.

"This is a big, big opportunity and we are going into some very important games and I have confidence in my players.

"The atmosphere in the dressing room is very good and we're looking forward to every game."

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