CELTIC’S comeback Bhoy Gary Mackay-Steven is determined to make up for lost time.

The winger was given his first outing earlier this month when he made a Champions League substitute appearance against Manchester City.

And the 26-year-old followed up his Etihad appearance with a first start in the 4-1 win over Partick Thistle and he got the nod again from boss Brendan Rodgers for Saturday’s 2-1 victory against Dundee.

That was his fourth appearance of the campaign, having come off the bench in the win over Hamilton Accies.

The Hoops only have four more games – starting with Partick Thistle tomorrow night – before the Premiership takes a winter break.

Mackay-Steven admitted missing out on pre-season was a blow, but is now starting to feel part of things. 

He said: “The season probably really starts for me now. I’ve just been building up my fitness. I still feel tired after an hour, so I’m still getting match fit.

“But I feel good now. I missed pre-season and a large chunk of the season when I wasn’t training, so now I’m just fully back and buying into the manager’s ideas of what he wants and getting my own levels up.

“Obviously, any footballer will tell you the bit they don’t want to miss is pre-season, just to get that base level of fitness and start the season well.

“I was injured at that point when the manager came in and it was not easy.

“But that’s in the past now and I really feel a part of it – long may that continue.

“You know you need to be so fit with the intense pressing game we play now. It speaks volumes of the work we do on the training field day in and day out.

“It’s not easy, but it shows on matchdays. We press teams and make a lot of chances and it’s fun to be a part of.

“There are no passengers when we play.”
*Bertie Auld has signed more copies of That Season in Paradise – order today and we’ll post today first class so you will receive tomorrow – www.cqnbookstore.com

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