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GARY MACKAY STEVEN – ‘I’M READY’

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CELTIC star Gary Mackay-Steven is raring to go after returning to the Lennoxtown training centre today following the summer break.

The champions have only been away for four weeks, but that hasn’t dampened the former Dundee United winger’s enthusiasm to get back into action for the new campaign.

GMS said: “It’s great to be back. It’s nice to have the holidays and get a recharge of the batteries, but I’m ready to go.

“I’m looking forward to the Stjarnan matches. They are massive games and they’re not too far away. We won’t take them lightly.

“We know a little bit about them from last season as they played Motherwell and beat them, so it’ll be no easy task and we need to prepare right for that game.

“We knew there would be a lot of teams in the middle of their season that we could draw, but I’m sure we’ll do the correct preparation in the next couple of weeks and we’ll be ready by the time the tie comes round.

“Three weeks off gives us a break, but when we come back our fitness levels won’t be too low so it’ll just be a case of topping up.

“Last season was a great experience for me and seeing the atmosphere that Celtic Park can generate on European nights is what we all want. The Champions League is the pinnacle for a player.

“This game is the start of that road. We’ll take one game at time but we want to do well.”

He added: “Basically, the target when you play here is to win everything. You take it a game at a time, but we want to show how good we are and every competition we enter we want to do well in.

“The aim is to retain the league and do well in the cups and qualify for European football and do well in that competition, too.

“I have been here six months, but they flew in. It was great to come in January and get to know everyone and how the manager works, but I feel this season I can really express myself and show what I can do here.

“It’s gone well so far, but there is definitely a lot more to come from me so I’m really excited for this season.”

Meanwhile ISLAM FERUZ, who walked out on Celtic for Chelsea in 2011, is poised to spend next season on loan at MK Dons.

The Scotland Under-21 striker is also interesting Queens Park Rangers and Burnley as well as Spanish outfit Getafe and French side Lorient.
Feruz, 19, spent part of the last campaign at crisis-hit Blackpool and OFI Crete before returning to Stamford Bridge.
However, Jose Mourinho doesn’t think he is ready for a place in his first team squad and is prepared to allow him to spend another term away from the London giants.
Championship side MK Dons are interested in taking the teenager and Chelsea are willing to subsidise his wages.
 
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