STUART ARMSTRONG insists his contract wrangle did not effect his form.
The Celtic midfielder’s standards dropped slightly from the heights he achieved in the second half of the Hoops’ historic treble triumph last season.
But the Scotland international doesn’t believe the delay had anything to do with it and says he had no intention of quitting Parkhead.
The 25-year-old powerhouse, who agreed a 12-month extension, said: “In my head, it was clear I was staying, so there was no issue at all with being unsettled.
“It was obviously just everything surrounding it – I just wanted to focus on playing football.”
Asked if the glamour of their Champions League draw confirmed he had made the right decision, Armstrong replied: “It wasn’t a case of the right decision.
“It was always my decision to get that contract signed. It just took a bit of time.
“But now that’s all sorted and everything has settled down, I can focus on the season ahead.”
The playmaker is looking forward to the challenges of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Anderlecht and added: “I don’t think anyone can ever think that they ‘belong’ at this level.
“You always need to fight for the right to earn your place in the team.
“However, it’s a different feeling now from when I came in and played against Inter Milan when I first arrived at the club.
“Comfort is the wrong word, but there’s definitely a belief you can compete at that level.”