Celtic coach Ronny Deila said his team was “not good enough” to play in this season’s UEFA Champions League after a 1-0 loss to Slovenian side Maribor dumped the Scottish champ out of the competition at the playoff stage. Having lost the two-game series 2-1, Celtic will now play in the Europa League, while Maribor qualifies for the UCL.
The series marked Celtic’s second chance to reach the group stage of Europe’s top club competition after a 6-1 aggregate defeat to Legia Warsaw in the qualifying round was turned around in Celtic’s favor thanks to the Polish team fielding an ineligible player.
After Tuesday’s loss, coach Deila said: "We did not lose because of the defending, we lost because we did not create anything. We hope we can stand in the same position next year with a whole other feeling than I have right now." He added: “In the end there's only one thing to say - we have not been good enough, and we have not deserved to go to the Champions League." The Norwegian went on to describe exiting the tournament as "a hard feeling" and said "the players, the staff and the whole club" must use the loss as motivation to improve.