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‘I’M HERE FOR THE LONG TERM’

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RYAN CHRISTIE plans to persuade a second Celtic boss inside a year he is good enough for a first team place.
Ronny Deila paid £500,000 for the midfielder from Inverness Caley Thistle last summer, but the Under-21 star was immediately loaned back to the Highlanders.
Christie returned to his parent club in January and scored his first goal in the 7-0 win over Motherwell on the last day of the season.
Now he is hoping to play his part in the Brendan Rodgers revolution.unspecified-16
The 21-year-old attacker said: “It’s nice when a new gaffer comes in because everyone knows they’re on the same level and you’re just fighting for a place to impress.
“So it’ll be in everyone’s head to step in the door on top form at pre-season.
“Obviously, you go away in the summer to enjoy yourself and relax. However, you keep yourself in good enough shape so that when you come back in you’re as fit as you can be as you are trying to impress the new gaffer.
“It’s not like you have another month-and-a-half before your first game of the season. You need to go straight away.”
Christie, who started only two games for the Hoops, added: “Obviously, it has been frustrating not playing. but it’s such a big squad and I need to remember I’ve signed a four-year deal. I’m here for the long term.
“And I know I’ve definitely learned and improved as a player, even if I’m not playing.

“I feel I’ve come on through training with the boys and I’ve got stronger and fitter.

“From that aspect, I don’t really feel like it has stalled my improvement, so that’s good.
“However, like I said, there is a very big squad, so it’s hard to even get your name on the list before a game.
“But when I have been involved, I’ve enjoyed it.”
* The full Ryan Christie interview is in the new Celtic View, on sale now.
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