SCOTT ALLAN finished last season with a Premiership winners’ medal, but revealed he didn’t believe he had earned it.
After joining from Hibs at the start of the season, the skilful midfielder became the forgotten man during Ronny Deila’s last year in charge.
Brendan Rodgers has admitted he has admired the playmaker since he joined West Brom as a teenager from Dundee United in 2012 and Allan has been assured he’s in the Irishman’s plans.
Allan has performed well in the four-game pre-season tour of Slovenia and Austria, but now he wants to do so when it matters starting tomorrow night in Gibraltar.
He said: “Last year is gone now for me. It’s all about this season and I need to make a real impression.
“Over the summer, I worked really hard on my own. I went on holiday, but I trained as well to make sure I came back in the best shape possible.
“It was strength and conditioning work. Some of it isn’t necessarily related to football, but it will help me. I had to come back in the best condition I could possibly be in ahead of the new season.
“I feel this has to be my year at Celtic and I’m looking forward to it. The manager has been a breath of fresh air.
“It’s a second chance for some of us. Hopefully, I can grab it with both hands.
“Last season I kept my head down and hoped for a run of games. But it never came. Hopefully, this year can be the year.
“I still got a title winners’ medal, but as a footballer you just want to play as much as possible. I don’t feel I earned that medal last year, making just 17 appearances.
“I’ll take it and I’m close to a lot of boys here so it was about celebrating with them at the end of the season.
“I was delighted for them and we’re a team. People help you through certain things and it’s about sharing it with them. I was more happy for them.”
Allan has already been impressed by Rodgers’ footballing philosophy and added: “The manager gets his message across really quickly. That’s good for us as players because we know what he wants.
“He makes it clear what he wants from each and every training session. It has been really enjoyable so far.
“Obviously, I hope I can be his type of player. I’ve heard about what he wants from players and watched his teams play. But I have to put the work in, catch his eye early doors and, hopefully, take my chance.”