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  • Ryan Christie aiming for top spot to round off action-packed week

    Ryan Christie aiming for top spot to round off action-packed week

    By: Joe Sullivan on 07 Dec, 2018 11:01

  • IT would be easier to count the games Ryan Christie hasn’t scored in recently rather than the ones in which he has, and Celtic have certainly been counting on him recently.

    However, the midfielder, who picked up the SPFL Premiership Player of the Month award for November, doesn’t do much counting himself – especially when it comes to counting the number of times he has watched his League Cup-winning goal against Aberdeen, or talking of setting targets for the season.

    He said: “I stopped watching it after Sunday! It was an amazing day to be back at Hampden for me and, of course, to win a trophy.

    “I’ll keep my targets to myself. That’s my job, though, and the manager wants goals from all areas of the pitch. Even from midfield at this club, you need to carry a goal threat. And I’m happy that I’m doing that just now and long may it continue. We’ve got a squad of players who are very versatile and great moving forward, and it’s paying off.”

    Christie has improved in leaps and bounds since he first joined from Inverness Caley Thistle in 2015. He immediately returned to the Highland club on loan and followed that up with another spell away, this time for a season-and-a-half at Pittodrie with Aberdeen.

    He said: “Even being at a club like Celtic, you develop a mental strength. A lot is said about the pressure going into this run of games, but you learn to deal with it and that was one of the aspects of the Aberdeen loan that I benefited from, in terms of there was still an expectation to win week-in, week-out.

    “That was something I had to learn to cope with and deal with, and brought back to this club. That shows how quickly football can change, especially here over the last couple of months. In the same way, I know how it works in reverse so I need to keep working as hard as ever.”

    The 23-year-old will be aiming to keep up his goalscoring run this Saturday when Kilmarnock visit, especially as this meeting is now a clash where the winners will be league leaders at the end of the 90 minutes.

    Christie added: “They’ve been playing very well, and the manager there has done a fantastic job there, but they’ll be coming to our patch on Saturday and we obviously want to be top of the league for as long as we possibly can.

    “What we’ve been concentrating on is knowing that there’s a long time to go between now and the end of the season, and there’s so many big games. The important factor is that we come out of the other end winning those games.

    “Saturday will be a big game, hopefully we can come out of that and put a real run together towards the break. Kilmarnock are very well set-up tactically. I think they’ll come here well-organised and look to frustrate us, but that’s something we’ve got used to over the years.”

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