09.04.2015 02:17 h

Celtic need to be more clinical says Deila

Celtic manager Ronny Deila says his side need to be more clinical in front of goal after the Hoops ground out a 2-0 win over Partick Thistle at Parkhead.

The Hoops struggled to break down a well-organised Thistle side, but made the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time when Kris Commons scored from the penalty spot after James Craigen saw red for a tackle from behind on Stuart Armstrong.

The Scottish champions then spurned a number of opportunities before stand-in skipper Stefan Johansen finished off a fine move in the 63rd minute.

But Deila felt the win, which keeps Celtic seven clear of Aberdeen as the Hoops close in on their fourth successive Scottish Premiership title, should have been a lot more comfortable for his side.

"We opened the game very well. The first 15 minutes was very good and we should have scored one or two goals," Deila said.

"Partick Thistle showed they are a good team, but we got our chances and our goals in the end and that was good.

"But we should be more effective in front of goal as we had a lot of chances that we should have put in the net. In the end, we should have scored more."

Johansen skippered the side due to the suspension of captain Scott Brown and the Norwegian led by example as he drove the Hoops on before scoring his 12th goal of the season in the second half.

The midfielder is one of the favourites to be named Scotland's player of the season and Deila, who also previously managed Johansen at Stromsgodset, was full of praise for the Norwegian.

"He is an important player and he is a good player," Deila said.

"He works hard and he communicates well with his team-mates so I think he did a good job tonight and deserved to be the captain.

"He has a good season, but he's stepping up all the time. He's very fit. You see always at the end of games he gets big chances and that's because he keeps on going when the others get tired.

"He's improving his technique and technical ability as well and he still has something to work on.

"We have conceded 14 goals this year. Of course the defence and goalkeeper are very good, but I think he is one of the causes as well because he works really hard for the team. Together with Scott Brown and Nir Bitton, he makes the midfield very solid so he is a good player, both offensively and defensively."

Elsewhere, Aberdeen all but claimed second place with a 1-0 win over Inverness to open a 11-point gap over their rivals in third place.

Dundee leapfrogged Hamilton into the top six as they claimed a 3-1 win over Dundee United at Dens Park. Greg Stewart's shot squirmed through the legs of United stopper Radoslaw Cierzniak before Nadir Ciftci equalised from the penalty spot two minutes later when Kevin Thomson blocked a shot with his arm.

James McPake's header restored Dundee's advantage before the break and Paul Heffernan's second half strike helped seal his side's first derby win over their city rivals since 2004 and extend United's winless run to 10 matches.