FORMER Celt Beram Kayal is poised to make his Brighton comeback in the English Cup clash against Crystal Palace tomorrow night.
The Israeli international midfielder missed the first four months of the campaign after suffering a broken leg in pre-season.
Kayal, 29, has only made three appearances since returning to Chris Hughton’s squad in late November.
The player, given the boot at the Hoops by ex-boss Ronny Deila in January 2015, insists he is now ready to stake a claim for a permanent place in the first team.
He said: “Obviously, I’m looking to play more games, push myself and try to give my gaffer a headache, to put myself in the front of the picture and give him the reason to play me regularly.
“There’s nothing better to get fitness and confidence up than playing games.
“He tried to give me the chance when he could. The only place I could prove myself was the training ground – I pushed myself to do more and extra to get my levels up.
“When I get the opportunity in any game, I need to be ready, then I need to prove to the manager that I’m ready to take it.
“I would love to have more games, but sometimes in the middle of the season it’s hard.
“You are hungry to play. You train all week and it means a lot to play on the Saturday.”
Kayal – who faced Rangers eight times in his stint at Parkhead – emphasised he is well aware of the importance of Brighton’s rivalry with Palace.
He added: “I know what a derby means for a club. I had experience of playing a few in my career.
“We feel it as players, we feel the atmosphere. The fans are asking about the games against Crystal Palace.
“It means a lot to us to do well in front of our fans.
“We know how big this game is going to be for us and we’ll do everything to win it.”
Rather depressingly Kayal remains the last player to score a winning goal for Celtic a Champions League group stages match at Celtic Park.
NEW! The CQN Podcast: A Celtic State of Mind (EP28) with former Celtic director Tom Grant
A Celtic State of Mind presents its 29th instalment of insightful discussion around the culture of Celtic Football Club, the city of Glasgow, and fans of the reigning treble-winning Scottish champions.
Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by Celtic’s ex-director, Tom Grant, who offers a fascinating insight into the running of the club in the 1980s and 1990s.
Tom Grant explains exactly why Celtic refused to complete the Mo Johnston transfer in 1989, and lifts the lid on audacious efforts by Billy McNeill to recruit Peter Beardsley and Steve Bruce.
Tom Grant also dissects his relationship with Fergus McCann, and the impact of the ‘Celts For Change’ movement in overturning the ‘family dynasty’ board in 1994.
Jim Craig made two of the three goals in the 1967 European Cup Final. There’s a great wee video below for you to enjoy. Get Jim’s new Lisbon Lion Diary – Right Back to 67 from CQNBookstore.co.uk and you will receive a signed copy from the man himself plus a FREE copy of That Season in Paradise – Ten Months of Celtic Heaven signed by fellow Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld! Simply order Jim Craig – Right Back to 67 and the second book will be sent automatically.
— Until…☘️ (@delbhoy007) January 6, 2018