LUIS PALMA insists he must be better than just “good” as he prepares for his second season at Celtic.

The 24-year-old Honduran international winger put in some eye-catching performances in the first half of his debut campaign after arriving in a £3.5million five-year switch from Greek outfit Aris Thessalonki in August.

Palma displayed some excting form on the left flank and scored seven goals in the process as he settled into life at the champions.

Unfortunately, the flamboyant forward’s form dipped after the turn of the year, he claimed a mere three goals and even contrived to miss two penalty-kicks in a matter of minutes in the same game.

HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Anthony Ralston congratulates Luis Palma after one of the Honduran’s 10 goals for Celtic in his debut season.

Palma saw his first effort easily saved by Ross County’s George Wickens. The referee ordered a retake after infringements from Dingwall players in the box and the flanker took an idnetical spot-kick and the on-loan Fulham keeper saved again.

The hosts had to rely on a first-minute strike from Alistair Johnston and a dramatic late save from Joe Hart to clinch a 1-0 win on January 27.

Palma faded from the first-team picture and became a bit-part player as the season played out.

He didn’t feature in the Scottish Cup Final victory over Philippe Clement’s Ibrox side at Hampden on May 25, but managed to hit the winner against St Mirren in the last league game of the season as the Hoops claimed their third successive title with an eight-point advantage.

Now Palma is gearing up to go again and said: “I joined Celtic and had a spectacular first few months.

“However, every footballer has his downturn.

“I have to be aware of that and I have to be realistic with myself. I have to look in the mirror and tell the truth.

“I have an obligation to play a better role than ‘good’. I always carry a saying with me: ‘Never give up until you reach your best version’.

“I will never give up trying to fulfil my dreams.”

JUST CHAMPION…Luis Palma and Greg Taylor celebrate sealing the third successive title with a 5-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on May 15.

Palma, speaking to RadioHouse Media in his homeland, continued: “In Greece, there were also bad moments for me at  the start.

“Not everything was good, but you need to have resilience. If you are having a difficult moment at any time in life, this is the case.

“You need resilience to know everything will get better.

“One of my former coaches, Francisco Pavon, once said to me: ‘Luis, the complicated thing is not getting there, it’s staying there’.

“I’m working hard. I am very happy to be at Celtic and I want to stay here and keep taking steps.

“I always say to young players who want to have a career: ‘Work hard and show humility and discipline’.”

Palma became the second Honduran to play for the Hoops as he followed in Emilio Izaguirre’s footsteps.

SILVER CELT…Luis Palma with the Premiership trophy after scoring the clincher in the 3-2 win over St Mirren at Parkhead on May 18.

He added: “At Celtic, you have to win all the games and all the Cups. Emilio set the bar very high. He won many titles.

“When I arrived at Celtic, I didn’t arrive as a stranger as they already knew about Honduras because of him.

“The truth is I never imagined being in this position. I imagined being a footballer and well, God’s blessings were greater than we thought.

“It’s an honour to be in this position and I always keep my feet on the ground as I carry the name of Honduras at the highest level in Europe.

“It’s an incredible club with so much history. When I arrived here, on the first day I realised how great this club is.

“We are the champions, we play in the Champions League and we have an incredible staff and coaching team.

“My team-mates and the fans are also incredible. The atmosphere at the games is crazy nice.

“You feel the support and they never stop shouting for the entire match.”


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