NIR BITTON is so desperate for first team action after a year on the sidelines he has told Brendan Rodgers he will even play in GOAL!

It’s unlikely Craig Gordon or Scott Bain will face another challenger for the No.1 position, but it underlines how desperate the Israeli international midfielder is to get back into the team following a year on the sidelines.

Bitton, 27, who was out following surgery on a persistent knee problem, said: “As a professional, you have to adapt yourself to any position the gaffer wants you to play.

“For myself, I just want to play. If I need to play centre-midfield, I’ll play centre-midfield. If I need to play centre-back, I’ll play centre-back. If I need to play in goal, I’ll play in goal. I’d love to pull on the gloves!

“Anything the gaffer wants, I’ll try to do my best to help the team. That’s always my main target.”

Bitton, who has now completed his rehabilitation period, observed closely as the team evolved during his enforced absence.

The 6ft-plus playmaker witnessed Callum McGregor moving into the anchorman role following skipper Scott Brown’s lengthy absence with hamstring trouble after limping off during the 4-2 win over Hibs at Parkhead in October.

Ryan Christie also took his opportunity to impress when he came on at half-time for the injured Olivier Ntcham and inspired a 3-0 triumph over Hearts in the Betfred League Cup semi-final at Murrayfield later the same month.

He added: “Callum is an unbelievable player and Ryan is an unbelievable talent, as well. When you’re a good player, it doesn’t matter where you play. If you’re a good player, you’re a good player.

“Callum has shown his quality on so many occasions, all over the pitch. If it’s at left-midfield, left-back, centre-mid, defensive-mid – he’s such a great player.

“When I was injured, I had a few chats the manager. He tried to lift my spirits and he tried to help me during my injury any way that he could. He’s a good guy, he’s a good manager, he’s a good human being.

“But it wasn’t only the manager, it was all the staff, all the medical team and my team-mates.

“Honestly, it was everyone around me. It was a tough injury, and I’m so lucky and happy to have so many people around me to support me.”

* Bitton was speaking to this week’s Celtic View, on sale now.

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