EFE AMBROSE thanked Brendan Rodgers as he picked up the Championship Player of the Month award after an impressive run of form on loan at Hibs.

The Nigerian defender, who joined up with ex-Hoops gaffer Neil Lennon on an emergency deal in March, said: “I always looked on it as a positive move.

“The most important thing is that you commit yourself to it. Everybody wants to be the best and for you to be the best you have to raise your level.

“When I came here I knew it was going to be different from Celtic. It’s a different league, but it is very competitive.

“Everybody wants to show themselves, everybody wants to play, everybody wants to be in the spotlight. It is very intense when you play in the Championship.

“In the Premiership, teams try to play possession football and play to tactics. In the Championship, you have to keep going for 90 minutes.

“From the moment I came in I felt very comfortable and that is exactly what I had hoped for when I left Celtic.

“They are just like the guys in the Celtic dressing room and they have been very friendly and made me very welcome.”

Ambrose, who made only two appearances for the Parkhead outfit since the arrival of Rodgers, added: “This has been an opportunity for me to pay football again.

“Personally, I’m grateful to be here and to start playing again. When a club like this gives you an opportunity it is amazing and I am grateful to them.

“I also want to say thank you to Celtic and Brendan Rodgers because, without playing, he stood beside me and encouraged me. He didn’t ignore me when I wasn’t playing.

“He treats everyone as family and everyone as equal.

“It’s not just the players playing in the team who really matter, it’s the squad that really matters to him.

“He gives credit to everyone, even if you’re not playing. For the few games I played and when I wasn’t playing, in training, everything I have learned from him and the coaches.

“Coming here was just to get game time and he always wanted me to play. Lenny took me to Celtic, I played with him for two years, so I think he’s a coach who really knew my strengths, my ability and what I can do.

“So, for me to come and play under him, was an opportunity to really show myself again in football. The best way to show that is to play games, which I couldn’t get at Celtic but I can get here.”

Since agreeing the temporary switch, the centre-back has helped the Easter Road men to a nine-point lead at the summit of the table as they edge towards promotion.

The 28-year-old was named Player of the Month for March after playing every minute of his side’s two wins, two draws and one defeat, scoring one goal.

Ambrose appears set for a Parkhead exit at the end of the season, with his contract due to expire in May.

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