Celtic manager Ronny Deila insists title race will only hot up in March

By David CurrieBBC Sport Scotland
Deila led Celtic to a league and cup double last season
Deila led Celtic to a league and cup double last season

Celtic manager Ronny Deila believes it is too early to say which teams will be challenging for the Premiership title at the end of the season.

The champions top the table going into the New Year on goal difference only from Aberdeen, though with two games in hand.

"So far Aberdeen have done well and are a good football team," Deila said.

"I've said it all along that we'll have to wait till the end of March before we see what the title race will be like."

Deila hopes by that stage his team will have pulled away from the chasing pack.

''Hopefully it's just us, that's what we want and we have to do all we can to win every game," he said.

"The first one is on Saturday against Partick Thistle.''

While acknowledging there is pressure on him and his players, Deila believes his squad's experience gives Celtic an edge over their domestic opponents.

"There is pressure on every team, you need consistency you need to be able to cope with the situation and have unbelievable discipline and we have experience of it," said the Norwegian.

"I want to look forward to the New Year. We have so much to play for I'm excited by it.

"I saw a lot of positive things against Hearts which I want to see more of. There was very good energy of the whole team and I want to see more of that on Saturday."

In 2015 Deila has enjoyed success in the Premiership and League Cup, but also endured failure in European competitions. He insists though that the year's end will not prompt him to reflect on the team's successes and failures.

''We are constantly evaluating things, so New Year is nothing special in that aspect," he said.

"It's all about small details like being more direct and getting in behind defences or pressing teams more. Small details can make things right."