MATT O’RILEY reckons he is improving with every game after his eye-catching performances from day one of the campaign.

The stylish midfielder put in a polished display against stubborn Ross County in the Premiership opener on August 5 when he scored a thumping goal and set up another for David Turnbull with some mesmerising skills on by-line in the champions’ 4-2 win at a packed Parkhead.

O’Riley has continued to shine as Brendan Rodgers’ team clicks into place and his form has been recognised by his adopted nation Denmark with his first senior call-up on Tuesday when he was on the substitutes’ bench in their Euro 24 qualifying 2-1 win in San Marino.

UP, UP AND AWAY…Matt O’Riley is walking on air as the scores the stoppage-time winner at Motherwell.

The 22-year-old playmaker, a £1.5million bargain buy from third-tier MK Dons in January last year, said: “This is probably the best I’ve felt in all aspects of my game, which is positive.

“I’m in the box more and taking more pops on goal. I’m encouraged to get into the box and when you’re in goalscoring positions the higher the chances you will score goals.

“It’s a continual process of improving all of the time and if you dedicate your attention to improving all aspects then naturally you do improve and I’m doing that.

“I’m in a good place in myself mentally, so now it’s a case of me showing it regularly and I’m in a good space to do that.”

O’Riley will return to Tynecastle tomorrow afternoon with happy memories of the venue after making his Hoops debut in a 2-1 victory over Hearts on January 26.

The elegant middle-of-the-park operator, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “It’s always difficult there with the atmosphere and the crowd on you.

CAPITAL SHOW…Matt O’Riley tussles with Hearts defender Andrew Cochrane during his Celtic debut, a 2-1 win at Tynecastle in January last year.

“It feels tight there because of the way the stadium is structured and they will probably come after us and we will do the same to them.

“It’s a case of scoring early and that can change things quite a lot, but if we do what we do then we will be okay.

“But, the experience at Ibrox shows we can play in the most intense environment without fans and perform well and get a result.”

The London-born performer has been named the Premiership Player of September and O’Riley added: “I found out about the award yesterday and I told my family who were proud.

“They’ve been with me through the whole journey and they have sacrificed so much, so the award is more for them than myself.

“It’s not really about me at the end of the day, I’m just grateful to play here in this team and, naturally, it helps you win individual accolades.”


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