CHRISTOPHER JULLIEN has played around 20 minutes of first-team football in the past 14 months.

Now Celtic’s French centre-back admits he is determined to play his part in the “new adventure” at Parkhead under the guidance of Ange Postecoglou with SEVENTEEN recruits arriving since the manager got the role in June.

Jullien is desperate to make up for lost time following his collision with a goal post on December 30 2020 as he raced back to clear a shot from Dundee Unite striker Marc McNulty off the line with keeper Vasilis Barkas beaten. The score was 2-0 at the time and the towering defender made his timely – and ultimately costly – intervention just after the start of the second-half.

The Hoops went on to win 3-0, but Jullien had to be helped off and hadn’t been seen until making his comeback as a 74th-minute substitute for Cameron Carter-Vickers in the 4-0 Scottish Cup last-16 win in the east end of Glasgow eight days ago.

DOWN AND OUT…Christopher Jullien is tended to by the Hoops physio after his clash with the goal post on December 30 2020.

The £7million purchase by ex-boss Neil Lennon from Toulouse in the summer of 2019 has been an unused substitute in the past two games, the 3-1 Europa Conference League loss to Bodo/Glimt and the 3-2 win over Dundee.

Reflecting on the reception he received from the Hoops supporters on his comeback, Jullien said: “I didn’t expect that ovation at all. When you work for 409 days you just go day-by-day and don’t think about the end goal.

“To get my feet on the pitch made me emotional and I thank everyone for the warm welcome back.

“That moment was amazing, my family was there and I was not expecting to come on.

“I’ve just been working every day in training and seeing how it goes, but this welcome is something I will never forget.

“That injury was something else. The trauma my knee had was really difficult and I then had a nine or 10-month wait before I could even touch a ball again – that’s indescribable. I’m at the end of the tunnel now and I hope I will feel good for the rest of my life.”

Jullien, of course, was forced to watch from the sidelines as Celtic’s historic bid for a tenth successive title collapsed in inexplicable circumstances that cost Lennon his job a year ago. The club endured its first trophyless campaign in 11 years.

COMEBACK CELT…Christopher Jullien prepares to come on as a late substitute in the 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Raith Rovers at Parkhead on February 13.

The changes at the club since his dreadful injury have been immense with the likes of Scott Brown, Jeremie Frimpong, Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer and Olivier Ntcham moving on while the likes of Japanese quartet of Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi, among so many others, have been introduced.

Working with Postecoglou and new team-mates is a massive incentive for Jullien, who, speaking exclusively to Celtic TV, added: “We had to bounce back as a team and right now we are showing that and we are aiming to win everything.

“We have one trophy and we want to win it all now.

“It was a big motivation for me that there was a new manager and players and there was a new adventure for the team.

“They are all really good players and for me, I need to enter that competition and try and help the team the most I can when called upon.

“I’m in admiration of the way the new manager is working and what he demands is amazing.

“First and foremost, I want to be healthy, but, after that, I want to help the team the most I can whenever called upon.”

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