03.04.2016 02:05 h

Roberts to the rescue for Celtic

Celtic manager Ronny Deila says it will be hard to leave Patrick Roberts out of his side for the title run-in after the teenager's double inspired his side's comeback in a 3-1 win over Hearts on Saturday.

The 19-year-old, in only his second start for the Hoops, helped set up Gary Mackay-Steven to cancel out Jamie Walker's opener before grabbing his first senior goals to seal a vital win for the Glasgow giants.

And after helping the Hoops strengthen their grip on the Scottish Premiership title his manager admits it will be hard to dislodge him from the starting line-up.

"He was very good and it will be hard to leave him out after this," Deila said.

"He was maybe involved seven or eight times on the ball and he scored two goals. What more can you expect from a player?

"Every time he has the ball in the right spaces then something happens. We just need to keep on feeding him the ball and then there could be more goals.

"You can see now that he is a special talent. He is hungry and today he was the difference for us."

The English winger has taken time to settle at Celtic Park since joining on an 18-month loan from Manchester City in January.

"It always takes a bit of time to get players to the level you want. He had to get to know the boys and Glasgow and our style of play as well," Deila added of Roberts, who joined City in a multi-million pound deal from Fulham.

"I was down watching him in the England under-19s on Tuesday against Spain and it was good for me to see him there as well. He will be an important player for us."

The win helps Celtic move seven points clear of Aberdeen, who host Hamilton Academical on Sunday, with seven matches remaining and Deila admits the Hoops are in a good position as they chase a fifth league title in a row.

"It's a strong position. The position gets stronger and stronger if we can just keep on winning," the Norwegian manager said.

"This was a big, big win for us. It was a tough game against a good opponent.

"There was a very high tempo in the game and they pressed us really hard and high so it took a little bit of time to adjust to it.

"The longer the game went on the more control we had and in the end we deserved to win.

"It will give us good confidence going into the game on Tuesday against Dundee."

Defeat deals Hearts a major blow in their quest to catch Aberdeen in second place but manager Robbie Neilson took some positives from the result.

"I thought we played really well and were the better team in the first half," Neilson said.

"I thought they showed good spirit and we had good periods of play in good areas but just couldn't get a finish.

"When you play at this level the small margins are the difference. We had a striker who misses a chance and then they had one who scores and it swings the game."

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