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‘I AM A FIGHTER,’ VOWS BAYO

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IVORIAN international striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo has played just three first team minutes for Celtic since his £2million January switch from Slovakian outfit Dunajska Streda.

The powerful frontman came on as a late substitute just moments before skipper Scott Brown blasted in the winner against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on February 17.

Since then, Brendan Rodgers has defected to mid-table Leicester City, been replaced by interim manager Neil Lennon and Bayo has not kicked a ball again in the top side and has missed six successive games.

But the 22-year-old attacker is determined to make the breakthrough before the end of a campaign that could see the Parkhead outfit make history with a treble treble and also claim their eighth successive title.

Bayo knows he will have to impress Lennon if he is to get involved in the silverware clean sweep.

He has featured for the reserves in recent weeks and believes he has the ability to deliver the goods at senior level.

Bayo, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “The departure of the former coach has somewhat mixed my plans. Today, there is a new boss who runs the team. It is not easy.

“But, as a professional, I give the best of me to convince him.

“I have played only one match with the first team since my arrival. Afterwards, I have taken part in several matches with the reserves, but given what I can produce on the field, I should quickly find the top team.

“Given my current performances, I think everything should be in order for me.

“I am a fighter. If I’m at Celtic, it’s because I have a talent, so it’s up to me to fight to win my place.”

Bayo also has his eyes on this summer’s African Cup of Nations in Egypt and has targeted a place in the Ivory Coast squad for the continent’s showpiece tournament which kicks off in mid-June.

He added: “The leaders of Celtic followed my performances from Slovakia and they found in me a profile that interested them.

“And then with the support and advice of Kolo Toure, they did not hesitate to bet on me.

“I want once again to say a big thank you to Kolo because I’m in Scotland because of him.

“I admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the reception that was reserved for me.

“Everyone was there for me. It is a memory that will long be engraved in my mind.”

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