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BITTON’S TROPHY TARGETS

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NIR BITTON has revealed he feared his Celtic career could be WRECKED as he struggled to overcome his long-term knee injury.

Following an 11-month lay-off, the Israel international made his first team comeback in January and is hoping to make his eighth appearance against Aberdeen today.

Neil Lennon, who bought the midfielder in 2013 in his first spell as Hoops boss, has had no hesitation in fielding the 27-year-old in his two games in charge since he took over in an interim basis 11 days ago following the sudden defection of Brendan Rodgers to mid-table Leicester City.

Bitton has lined up alongside skipper Scott Brown in the victories over Hearts at Tynecastle and Hibs at Easter Road and he is likely to continue in the position against the Dons at Parkhead this afternoon when the champions have the opportunity to ease TEN points ahead at the top of the table.

A goal from Florian Kamberi gave Hibs a 1-1 draw with Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit in Edinburgh last night.

Lennon has been tasked with guiding the Hoops to their eighth successive title as well as keeping the team on course for a historic treble treble.

Bitton, speaking to the BBC, reflected on the dark days and admitted: “Obviously, you have this thought in your mind, especially if it’s your first long-term injury – you don’t know what to expect.

JOY BHOYS…Nir Bitton joins in the goal celebrations after James Forrest’s strike against Hearts.

“The medical staff were always positive with me, always optimistic and tried to lift my morale and I didn’t really think about it, but it was in my mind.

“However, I tried to stay positive and stay focused on coming back.”

Looking at the caretaker appointment of the manager who brought him to Parkhead in the first place, Bitton added: “Neil is a big character, he worked at Celtic before with a lot of the players in the current squad and everyone respects him.

“We just want to win trophies and titles, that is what the club is all about. We don’t think about the future right now.

“Obviously, we had an unbelievable two-and-a-half years with Brendan, enjoyed every moment. He was one of the best coaches that I worked with and I wish him the best.

“But now we work with Neil and he is a top manager, as well. It’s all about the team and how we keep going, keep winning games, keep winning trophies and this is our main target.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Aberdeen this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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