NADIR CIFTCI insists he could form a dream double-act with Leigh Griffiths.
The Celtic striker praised the prolific form of his fellow-frontman who had banged in 19 goals this season.
And the Turk, who doubled his campaign’s total to four with a brace in the 3-0 win over St Johnstone at the weekend, is desperate to lead the line with the Scottish international.
He said: “I think there is a way we can both play, but, of course, that is down to the manager, Ronny Deila.
“Leigh has been amazing this season. He works hard and he is getting his rewards.
“It is great for the team that we have someone like that, but I think if we could both play together that possibly we would score a lot of goals.
“We are different kinds of players but I think we can play alongside one another.
“Sometimes the gaffer changes things during the game and we play together. Maybe we can show that it is a good combination.”
Ciftci, bought from Dundee United for £1.5million in the summer, also revealed he NEVER gave up on being a smash-hit with the SPFL champions.
The 23-year-old hitman admitted: “I have never had any doubts. You have to believe in yourself. I don’t know if I really knew how hard it would be to get into the team here.
“I was maybe thinking that I would get in a bit easier, but there are so many good players. You have to understand what the quality is like – it is right through the team and the competition is tough.
“However, even when it seemed as though I was far away from playing, I have always been confident that I can score goals for this club.
“My family, my Dad in particular, kept me believing that it would happen for me. I have had to be patient, but I feel as though if I get a run of games then I can start to score goals.
“It is hard when you are not in the team. But it is important that I can show when I get a chance to start that I can score.
“You have to keep working hard and keep positive. Hopefully, I can show that I have been doing that.”
Ciftci was at Tannadice as Deila’s men targeted a domestic treble in the last campaign that was derailed during the controversial 3-2 Scottish Cup semi-final extra-time defeat against eventual winner Inverness Caley Thistle.
He said: “Last season after Christmas, Celtic were really tough for anyone to play against. They seemed to get stronger and stronger as the season went on.
“Hopefully, that is the same against this term.”
Ciftci has started the last two games against Fenerbahce in Istanbul and St Johnstone in Perth due to Griffiths being sidelined with a calf strain and is determined to play his part as the Hoops aim for a domestic clean sweep this time out.
He added: “I would love to be successful here and be part of something important.
“But just now I just want to focus on playing as many games as possible. It is hard to feel as though you are sharp unless you are playing all the time.
“However, as I have said, there are so many good players here that it isn’t easy to do that.
“That’s the same at every big club. I want to win things and be successful, but, first of all, I need to show that I am ready to play.
“The gaffer has been great with me and now I want to show that I am ready to play for him.”
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