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Partick 17:30 Celtic

Champions League: Ronny Deila believes reprieve will help him strengthen Celtic squad

Last Updated: 08/08/14 4:31pm

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Ronny Deila: Feels very sorry for Legia

Ronny Deila: Feels very sorry for Legia

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Ronny Deila believes Celtic's Champions League reprieve will help him strengthen his squad in preparation for the group stage play-off against Maribor.

Celtic were included in Friday's draw after UEFA judged Legia Warsaw to have fielded an ineligible player, defender Bartosz Bereszynski, in Wednesday's 2-0 victory at Murrayfield, a result which earned the Poles a 6-1 aggregate win.

The ruling resulted in Legia forfeiting the second leg 3-0, a decision which sent Celtic through to the Champions League play-offs on away goals and demoted the Polish side to the Europa League play-offs.

Deila, who is looking to strengthen his squad before the tie with the Slovenia champions, believe his side's reprieve could be influential in keeping and recruiting new players to Celtic.

"There are many aspects about keeping players and getting players in and this is one of them,” he said. "Of course, this is a vital thing and it will lift the team and performance.

"We are working really hard to get players in for the next stage. We are now preparing to go and see Maribor and get a view on them as we were expecting to play the Europa League.

"The players want to play in the Champions League and we are going to get another chance and they will have no problem getting up for the game."

Only former Hearts and Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon has been signed on a permanent deal at Parkhead and with the futures of Fraser Forster and Virgil van Dijk uncertain, Deila may need to bolster his squad if they are to overcome Maribor.

Deila also claimed that it was difficult to consider UEFA's decision as another opportunity for the Parkhead side to make the group stages of the competition.

"It is very hard to think of that today because it is a tough decision and I really feel sorry for Legia," he added.

"Legia played well against us, they put in good performances but this is nothing to do with Celtic. It is about UEFA. It is not my business. It is a club thing and a UEFA thing."

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster welcomed the decision to reinstate Celtic claiming it was 'remarkable news'.

Speaking to Sky Sports News he said: "On a human level you have to feel sorry for the person at Legia whose error led to that happening.

"But from a Scottish football point of view, clearly it has to be welcomed. There is a huge prestige in having a club potentially involved in the group stages of the Champions League.

"Also there is a financial advantage if Scotland has a group stage participant it means an extra £1m to be shared between the other Premiership clubs.

"So there is a real financial boost should celtic be successful in getting by Maribor in the play-offs."

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