RYAN CHRISTIE knows what it is like to play in a Celtic Scottish Cup shocker.
The Highlander was in Inverness Caley Thistle’s midfield when they knocked out Ronny Deila’s Hoops in controversial fashion in the semi-final at Hampden two years ago.
His display that afternoon when the Parkhead side went down 3-2 in extra-time went a long way to convincing the champions to make a £500,000 move for him.
And a year ago, he made a late appearance as a substitute in the club’s 2-0 win over Lowland League side East Kilbride at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium, where he could line up against Albion Rovers tomorrow in the fourth round of the national competition.
Christie admitted it’s changed days in the east end of Glasgow during Brendan Rodgers’ debut campaign.
The 21-year-old playmaker said: “It’s a credit to all the boys, as I would say the dynamic has changed, in terms of the attitude of other clubs.
“There have been times in the past when teams would have fancied their chances at Celtic Park, but that’s clearly out the window this season.
“However, it’s the Cup and, including this weekend, every team will fancy their chances of knocking us out as you never know what could happen.
“So, that turns it on us and because we’re seen as one of the bigger teams in the Cup and there’s that added pressure that maybe we should be winning it. We have to make sure we rise to that.”
Christie also praised the new Hoops gaffer and said: “From the start of the season looking back to where I am now, I can 100 per cent say I’ve improved my game in all sorts of different aspects.
“In terms of tactics, the ideas when the manager first came in, the boys all had to start again and start learning his ideas. From where we were then to where we are now is really impressive. I think I’ve come on in leaps and bounds.”
Despite making only seven appearances in Rodgers’ six-month reign, the player never entertained the thought of going out on loan this month to gain game-time.
He added: “I’m absolutely happy to stay. My plan from the start of season has been to get myself into that starting eleven.
“Obviously, there are still a few months coming up with games coming thick and fast, so it’s important that players like me are ready and if I get put in I can keep my place.
“The manager is very vocal with the players, he’s good man-management-wise, he’s always letting me know that I’m not out of sight.
“Even though I’m not playing so many games, I’m still having an impact and I’m still in his thoughts, which is good.
“That raises my confidence and positivity going forward.”
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