Celtic manager Ronny Deila hopeful of Europa progress

Ronny Deila says Celtic have an "interesting" Europa League group from which there is a better chance of progress than the Champions League.

The Scottish champions will face Austrian outfit Salzburg, Croatians Dinamo Zagreb and Romanian side Astra.

Celtic, who dropped into the Europa League after losing their Champions League play-off, have never previously faced any of their group opponents.

Salzburg will host Celtic in the Group D opener on 18 September.

Scotland's independence referendum will take place on the same day.

Celtic's Europa League Group D

Salzburg v Celtic, 18 September

Celtic v Dinamo Zagreb, 2 October

Celtic v Astra, 23 October

Astra v Celtic, 6 November

Celtic v Salzburg, 27 November

Dinamo Zagreb, 11 December

"There's possibilities here," said the Celtic boss.

"They are good teams of course. We're going to fight for going through and there's bigger opportunities there than there will be in Champions League."

Celtic have been criticised for not being active enough in the transfer market before their qualifying campaign and, since Tuesday's play-off defeat by NK Maribor, Rubin Kazan's Wakaso Maribor has joined on loan and a fee has been agreed with Sporting Gijon for striker Stefan Scepovic.

"It's not about persons, it's about the right persons, the right players," explained Deila. "That is not the easiest thing so now things are happening with Scepovic and Wakaso and maybe we'll see if there's more as well.

"We really do what we can to get the players we want in and to build the team.

Celtic defender Efe Ambrose

Celtic lost 2-1 on aggregate against NK Maribor

"We've tried for many players. It's very difficult to get players in. You need to pay them very well and have a good fee as well to the clubs.

"What clubs get players very early? The ones with the most money. That's the reality and that's hard to understand but that's the truth."

Deila believes it's important to remember the feeling of disappointment that resulted from Celtic's play-off defeat by NK Maribor and use that next year should they be in the same position.

"We have to close this chapter with Champions League for this year and just remember the feeling we have and work really hard and use that feeling every day when we get into the same situation, hopefully, next year.

"You have to learn from defeats.

"There's maybe, I hope, almost 50 games left and that's what I'm going to focus on.

"You do everything to win the league, we have the cups and also we are in Europe and that is unbelievably positive."