RYAN CHRISTIE has welcomed the long-awaited return of Tom Rogic who came on as a second-half substitute in the 1-0 win over Hamilton Accies on Saturday.

The Australian World Cup playmaker had been forced onto the sidelines through injury since the 2-1 Scottish Cup Final triumph over Hearts on May 25.

Some critics believe Christie and Rogic are too similar in their playing styles to operate in the same midfield, but the Scotland international clearly disagrees.

The Highlander insists they can thrive in the role that sees them perform just behind the striker, normally Odsonne Edouard.

Christie, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “Competition across the squad is always good. I’m delighted to see Tom back because he’s such an incredible players.

“I can’t speak too highly of him – even though he plays in the same position as me.

“He’s been outstanding to watch ever since I have been at Celtic. Hopefully, he is over the injuries and he can kick on.

“When I broke in to the side last season a lot of the time it was me and Tom playing together. We were both in there, which I loved.

“There’s no reason why it has to be just one of us, we can both play at the same time. That would be happy days for me.

OUCH…Tom Rogic winces as he hurdles a challenge from Hearts defender John Souttar in the Scottish Cup Final triumph.

“I’ve learned during my time at Celtic there’s never any room for complacency. There are so many good players in this squad, especially right now.

“If you look at the squad list after the window closed, we are strong in every single position.

“It pushes people to be at the top of their game because there’s always someone there waiting to take your place.”

Christie is looking forward to the opening Europa League group game against Rennes in Brittany tonight and added: “It’s supposed to be a full house.

“You want to test yourself against the best, you see how well they’ve started in their league, so we know how good a side they’re going to be. You want to test yourself and we’re coming here confident we can go back with something.

“I realised when I was watching the draw there were a lot of good European teams in there. That’s a big motivation, as well.

“We have a difficult group, but if you can progress then you can run in to some top quality teams.

“You never know what can happen.”

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

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