Celtic boss Ronny Deila has backed his charges to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage despite conceding a stoppage-time goal to Malmo that changed the complexion of their play-off tie.
A brace from Leigh Griffiths and Nir Biton’s header had put the hosts 3-1 up and seemingly in control at Parkhead, but Jo Inge Berget came back to haunt his former club by firing home from close range to give the Swedish visitors a huge boost ahead of next week’s return leg at Swedbank Stadion.
Deila, however, sees no reason why the Scottish champions cannot still progress.
“We played well in the first-half and were all over them,” he said.
“It was disappointing in the end, but I have belief.
“We’re one goal ahead and they have to beat us in Malmo.
“It could have been better, but it is an ok result.
“We are very irritated with the last thing (Berget’s second goal), but we have to move on and know that we are ahead and we’ll do it in Malmo.”
Deila went on to claim that the fact that Malmo will have to attack in the second-leg could play into his side’s hands.
“We can win,” he said.
“We can beat Malmo.
“They have to attack us, so that could suit us.
“We are ahead by one goal and we were the same against Qarabag and we defended there.
“We can do that.”
Celtic may, however, be without Mikael Lustig for the second leg after the Swedish defender limped off with what looked like a serious hamstring injury.
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