MARCO TILIO insists he thought he was ready to make a splash when he moved to Celtic in a £2million five-year deal from Melbourne City in June.

However, the 22-year-old forward failed to impress gaffer Brendan Rodgers and returned to the A-League outfit on loan last month.

Tilio reckoned he would hit the ground running when he arrived in Scotland, but revealed injury scuppered his plans to make an immediate impact at the champions.

The exciting touchline ace said: “I went away with the Australia Under-23s and got injured. I then thought it would be a week-long injury.

PARADISE POSTPONED…Marco Tilio is all smiles as he proudly displays his Celtic shirt in June.

“I signed the contract at Celtic and then obviously I was injured and out for three months.

“So, it doesn’t help and then you’re competing with eight or nine other wingers who are just as good as you, if not better, and it was always going to be a difficult road trying to get into that team of Celtic and I was always playing catch-up.

“But I believed I was ready to leave Australia. I’d done my time here and I thought I’d done really well. The build-up all the way until then when I made that decision to go there, I thought I was ready.”

Tilio made only a total of 28 minutes in appearance time at the Hoops after substitute roles in the 1-1 draw with Motherwel and the 4-1 win over Hibs.

The raider, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It was a tough six months for my football, but it’s always a learning curve for me and we’ll see what happens in the future.

“But, no, I don’t think I left Australia too early. Now it’s an important six months for me. I want to help Australia qualify for another Olympics.

“That would be pretty special and played a big factor in my return.”

Tilio netted 20 goals and 19 assists in 86 appearances for City when he helped them win one Championship and a record-breaking three consecutive Premierships.
He is due back at Celtic in July.
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