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19-GOAL CHRISTIE’S NEW AIM

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RYAN CHRISTIE was robbed of the opportunity of scoring 20 goals for Celtic last season.

The Scotland international midfielder, despite an absence through an injury in December that required surgery, had clocked up 19 strikes before football went into cold storage due to the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March.

Christie kicked off the 2019/20 Premiership campaign in spectacular fashion with a stunning hat-trick in the 7-0 landslide victory over St Johnstone on Flag Day on August 3 at Parkhead.

The 25-year-old playmaker is now aiming to repeat last year’s stellar start as the Hoops bid for the historic 10 titles in succession.

The former Inverness Caley Thistle star, who was brought to Parkhead by Ronny Deila in the summer of 2015, is currently gearing up for the new campaign with his team-mates at Loughborough.

Christie, speaking to the club website, said: “The set-up here and the facilities are amazing. The gym is unbelievable. When we come away on these weeks there are literally no other distractions, which makes it easier to get the head down and put everything into training.

TAKE A BOW, SIR…Ryan Christie accepts the applause of the fans during his hat-trick performance against St Johnstone last season. New Bhoy Hatem Abd Elhamed is about to join in.

“This week we’ve been pushed right to the edge. Everyone’s worked hard and it’s been tough. We’re feeling it in our legs every morning, but that’s pre-season and you come to expect that.

“The training camps make a big difference. We’re on a strict regime and every part of the day is fixated on making improvements. It’s the same every pre-season. The coaches make sure we know that if we really put the work in, and look after ourselves, it’ll be in our favour when the season starts.

“We’re trying to get up to our peak performance level as quick as possible and then maintain it. That’s something we’ve been really good at over the last couple of seasons. We’ll be looking to start the season the same way.”

Christie added: “I need to keep working hard in training, so that, hopefully, come the first game of the season I’m in the starting eleven. To do that, I also need to stay injury-free which comes back to looking after myself throughout pre-season.

“We have so many amazing backroom staff to help us and give us that extra one per cent. When you have people doing all that for you, it makes it so much easier to look after yourself off the park.

“I love the start of the season for the pure buzz of getting back in about it. It’ll be even better when the games come back around after such a long break and I’m really looking forward to it.”

 
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