Scottish FA Performance Director Mark Wotte has lent his support to Celtic manager Ronny Deila and his new regime, despite the Norwegian coming under fire from all sides in Scottish football.
Wotte, who laid the blame on Scottish football’s decline on Buckfast and junk food when he was first appointed, has come to the defence of Deila labelling the reaction to changes at Celtic as an ‘overreaction’.
Deila banned his Celtic players from drinking soft drinks and eating chips and Wotte has agreed with the Norwegian, he said: “The key is that if you want to become a world-class player, every little bit helps. Cristiano Ronaldo catches the eye because he’s such an athlete but he trains a lot on his own and looks after his body. You can’t be a world-class player, playing 60 games a year, if you don’t look after your body. Your body is your tool.
“It’s about awareness. It’s not about the one time a year you take something not good for you. Over a period of years you must respect your body.”
Wotte added: “It’s only a subject when results go wrong. If you play well and win, no one is bothered. A very good player looks after his body. Talking to Darren Fletcher, who is a prime example of a role model, he does everything right. He was ill, so for him it’s even more important to look after himself.
“It’s an overreaction on a statement like it was with me two years ago.”
Despite Scottish football rounding on Deila, Wotte has claimed that the next generation of players are educating themselves better than their predecessors.
He said: “I don’t think the pro youth academy boys need to change. A lot of academies are educating the players well. They are being taught how to live as athletes and prepare for games and deal with the physical demands. I don’t think it’s an issue. I travel with a lot of national youth teams and their attitudes are magnificent.
“They are putting a shift in during training, never giving up and eating the proper food because we give them the food. Nobody is cheating.
“Its not only on the pitch with technical ability, awareness, agility, it’s also attitude. It’s the way you behave and prepare. The most important thing is individual development. We had a session with parents. We try to educate them on how to coach their kids and the mindset you need. It’s the same with nutrition because mums feed their kids.
“These boys know exactly what’s good for them but, importantly, the parents know it also.”