RYAN CHRISTIE has admitted he is relishing the challenge of trying to gatecrash the Celtic first team.
The 21-year-old midfielder, bought from Inverness Caley Thistle for £500,000 in the summer, joined up with the Hoops in January after a loan spell at the Highlanders.
Christie is looking forward to tomorrow afternoon’s crucial league clash against Partick Thistle at Firhill and said: “When I first joined Celtic, it was different for me to have that kind of pressure where you’re always expected to be winning things and be top.
“However, I think I’ve adjusted to it well. The whole team has that mindset that we need to win every game.
“I’m getting used to it now and training with the boys every day brings my level up automatically because you’re playing with such good players, so it’s only positive for me.
“Every single place is more or less filled by an international player, so that’s the level you have to rise to. It’s a hard challenge, but it’s one that I’m up to.
“We’ve got a big squad and things like injuries and suspensions can happen, so it’s my job to keep myself ready for when the gaffer calls on me.
“It’s part of football, and at such a big club like Celtic, they’re always going to have plenty of options in the squad, so it’s about keeping concentrated off the park.
“I’ll just keep my head down and when I get my chance, I need to take it and show what I can do. That’s up to me. As soon as I step on that park, I need to show the gaffer that’s where I belong.”
Aberdeen’s 2-1 victory over Partick Thistle at Firhill on Tuesday reduced the gap at the top of the table to just a point and Ronny Deila’s side will be aiming for three points at the same venue.
Christie added: “We’ve got the league on our minds so much that between now and the semi-final, I don’t think it be will on our minds at all.
“We focus on one game at a time. That’s the attitude the gaffer wants to instil in us because we’ve got a lot of important games in the league coming up that we need to pick up points from and get away from Aberdeen if we can.
“The boys have been training hard and we know what we’ve got to do.
“It’ll be a hard run-in to the end of the season, but we’re looking to get the Double – that’s what we’re aiming for.”
* Ryan Christie was talking to Celtic TV.