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‘IT’S JUST A BLIP,’ INSISTS CHRISTIE

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RYAN CHRISTIE has described Celtic’s inexplicable failure as “just a blip” as they surrendered their title for the first time in a decade.

The midfielder toiled in the goalless draw against Dundee United at Tannadice yesterday that ensured it was the end of an era for the Parkhead club.

There was a procession towards Benjamin Siegrist’s goal for an hour without the sign of a breakthrough goal as the champions fired blanks. The heads dropped along with the tempo as the encounter wore on.

After the 1-0 loss to Ross County in Dingwall that saw Neil Lennon depart two days later, the Hoops overcame Aberdeen with the help of a deflected goal from Tommie Hoban with Joe Lewis looking well placed to save Odsonne Edouard’s original effort from the edge of the box.

One goal in three league games is never going to win a championship. They huffed and puffed on Tayside, but failed to find that crucial cutting edge, despite having a remarkable 27 attempts on goal.

The Scotland international playmaker was among a host of team-mates who clearly left his shooting boots at home.

Christie admitted: “Every player, not just me, at the club is hurting and wants to put things right.

“Everybody has that champion’s mentality. That’s how we got to the position we have over the last four or five years.

“Everyone is desperate to have that feeling back again, so everyone has that hunger again. We want to put things right.

“John Kennedy touched on that and is trying to get that mindset back. That’s what champions do.

“It’s obviously not how we wanted the season to go. We started the season looking to defend our title and we’re all gutted.

“But we can only look forward now. It’s just a blip and we want to come back even stronger and go again.

“When you face a blip, you face a blip. You bounce back from it and try to get back on top again. That’s the mentality we need. Everyone is ready to bounce back.”

Christie has promised to demonstrate that urgency when Steven Gerrard brings his Ibrox team to Parkhead a week on Sunday.

The 25-year-old middle-of-the-park operator, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “Absolutely. There is never a Glasgow derby when you don’t have a point to prove.

“We will be up for it because we are desperate to get a result against them. That’s what we will be looking to do and that can spur us on until the end of the season.”

Celtic are a shocking 20 points adrift of the Govan club with six games to go after a catastrophic campaign.

Christie added: “I probably wouldn’t say it’s a fair reflection, although, I’m a bit biased.

“It probably just comes to the amount of games where we have dominated and maybe not scored.

“And then we concede cheap goals at the other end and it comes down to fine margins.”

SCORELESS, CLUELESS, RUDDERLESS – THE END OF AN ERA

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