DETERMINED Dedryck Boyata insists he wants to remain at Celtic because he has a point to prove.

The Belgian international defender made only one appearance for the Hoops before the turn of the year, but has played in six successive games in 2017.

Boyata struggled to overcome injury problems and faced competition for central defensive places from Jozo Simunovic, Kolo Toure, Erik Sviatchenko and the versatile Mikael Lustig.

However, after a fine run of outings, the 26-year-old former Manchester City player has scored winning goals against St Johnstone and Aberdeen while helping his side to five clean sheets in half–a-dozen matches.

Boyata said: “I think everybody can see the team has improved a lot compared to last season.

“We’re playing very well and understanding the game better than last season. Of course, the results can show that, but it’s due to our hard work, as well.

“Everything’s been going well, so I’m enjoying it.

“It’s like I have a point to prove, too. I’ve been working very hard. This moment is very for important for me because I’m here, I want to stay here and keep playing.”

The champions are 24 points clear of nearest challengers Aberdeen at the top of the Premiership, but Boyata is taking nothing for granted as Brendan Rodgers’ team aim to extend their 30-match unbeaten domestic run against Motherwell tomorrow.

He added: “We need to take it step by step.

“If we start thinking too far then I don’t think it will be positive. If we put in the same quality as we have in our games then we’ll see what happens.

“As a football player, you get the information from coaches and sometimes you know what you have to do. But it’s about understanding the game, as well.

“When you get into difficulties in the game it’s about how you get out of it. We’re understanding the game better than at the beginning of the season.”

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