Fear not factor in Celtic defeat, says Kris Commons

Kris Commons has denied Ronny Deila’s claims that Celtic played with fear when crashing out of the Champions League to Malmo on Tuesday night.

The Bhoys’ 2-0 defeat at the Swedbank Stadion on Tuesday sent the home side through 4-3 on aggregate with Deila surprising many by describing his side as “scared.”

But Commons, who replaced Stuart Armstrong for the start of the second half with Celtic trailing 1-0 and having had a goal by Nir Bitton controversially chalked off, was at odds with the Norwegian as to the reasons for the defeat.

“I wouldn’t say it was fear,” Commons said.

“I don’t think we played with fear. When you’ve just got the one goal you’re thinking that if you can get a clean sheet or draw then you’re through, so it’s a completely different outlook.

“They came into the game knowing that they needed a goal, whereas as we were trying to do just enough to keep a clean sheet.

“But if we had come in at half-time at 1-1, when we scored from a corner, then it puts a completely different complexion on the game. But it wasn’t to be.”

In the wake of the defeat, defender Virgil van Dijk admitted uncertainty about his immediate future.

The Dutchman has been heavily linked with a move to Southampton and was asked after the Malmo game if he had played his game for Celtic.

The 24-year-old said: “It’s a terrible way if it ends like this but I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

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