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Ryan Christie grateful to Brendan Rodgers for guiding his Celtic career

Ryan Christie grateful to Brendan Rodgers for guiding his Celtic career

Ryan Christie praised Brendan Rodgers for managing his Celtic career from loanee to a new three-year deal with the Parkhead club.

The 23-year-old attacking midfielder had a brief loan period at Inverness after joining the Hoops on a four-year deal from the Highland club in 2015 and then two loan spells at Aberdeen before returning to the Glasgow club in the summer.

Christie has begun to make his mark with the double-treble winners this season with three goals in the last five games coming before his new contract was confirmed on Monday afternoon.

He revealed that inherent confidence in his own ability along with advice from boss Rodgers, who took over from Ronny Deila in 2016, kept him from harbouring doubts about a career at Celtic.

“I never really let myself think like that,” he told Press Association Sport.

“And this was where the manager was really good for me. Any time I went out on loan he pulled me in and told me what I needed to work on and what to concentrate on.

“The main part obviously was game time but there were other aspects that I needed to improve as well.

“That time at Aberdeen put me in great stead and I am benefiting from that which is good.”

In his first loan spell at the Pittodrie club Christie had to sit out the 2017 William Hill Scottish Cup final against Celtic and he is keen to get on the trophy trail, ironically, against the Dons in the Betfred Cup final at Hampden Park in December.

He said: “Obviously it is a bit funny that the first cup final will be against Aberdeen.

“Every player wants to play in cup finals and on the big occasions at places like Hampden so I’m obviously looking forward to the Betfred Cup final in December and hopefully we can bring back some silverware.

“I didn’t go to the game (2017 final). I took my holidays early and watched it on the television.

“It was strange. I knew at the beginning of the loan deal that if both teams reached the final then I would miss the game but it wasn’t until the week of the game that it really kicked in.

“It was a bit frustrating to miss playing on such a big occasion. But overall it was a small thing to give up.

“Obviously now I am delighted to sign a new deal and not looking back, just wanting to keep improving and win trophies with Celtic.”

While clear about where he wants his career to develop Christie remains bemused by the incident involving Dolly Menga in Sunday’s goalless draw at Livingston, which took the champions top of the  Ladbrokes Premiership.

The Livi striker put his head towards Christie as they jostled inside the box ahead of a set-piece and, although referee Kevin Clancy interjected, he took no action with Rodgers claiming he should have been sent off.

Christie said: “It was all a bit strange. It came out of nothing. I didn’t know if the official had seen anything or not, and I suppose if they haven’t seen it then they can’t send him off.”

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