Pillow Talk – ‘We’ve given ourselves a little bit of a cushion,’ Celtic Star

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RYAN CHRISTIE is enjoying the best goalscoring form of his career. The midfielder, now a regular starter in the Celtic side – and the players who have been out injured are going to have to go some to shift him from the the team-sheet, reached double figures for the season on Wednesday against Hibs.

You have to remember that it was towards the end of October before he broke into the side in that Betfred Cup semi-final when we were sent to Murrayfield and the Rangers were allowed to play at Hampden.

Thankfully things worked out better for Christie than the Zombies that day and he’s never looked back or stopped scoring since.

“The best I have had before was seven when I was at Aberdeen,” he said to the media.

“I think the fact I am playing in such an attacking side means that there are so many chances in games and I am loving it just now. There are always opportunities and also I feel as though I have a load of confidence.

“The manager has told me that he sees me as an attacking threat, so I have a bit of license to get forward, so long as I am still doing all the other work.

“But the fact that the manager has so much faith in me and wants me to get up and in the box has really given me a lot of belief. I don’t think you can underestimate that when you are going onto the pitch.

“Callum McGregor and I are both always wanting to provide a threat and the manager is very good in giving us that freedom to go forward which is fantastic.

“It is obviously great to feel that you are contributing with goals and, hopefully, there are plenty more to come this season.”

Christie will be looking to add to his tally at the weekend when St Johnstone are the visitors to Celtic Park and a win would see the Double Treble winners edge tantalisingly closer to making it a really special tRebel Treble.

But for the players it’s one game at time.

“It is always nice to know that you are setting records and suchlike, but I don’t believe we ever think too much about any of that.

“First and foremost, it is about making sure we come through the game and go and play as well as we can.

“St Johnstone will be up for it and it is always a little bit strange when you are playing the same team so often in such a short space of time.

“You get these little anomalies some seasons, but I think we have to aim to be as professional as possible because we know how difficult St Johnstone will look to make it for us.”

After the Scottish Cup action at the weekend Celtic move on to prepare for the challenge of facing a hugely talented Valencia side in the round of 32 knock-out round of the Europa League before heading down to Kilmarnock a week on Sunday for what will be a tricky fixture.

Celtic are six points clear of the Rangers, who after the midweek results seem to be the only challenges still holding on to the league leaders coat-tails. Both Kilmarnock, who have dropped 7 points from the last 9 since beating the Rangers are pretty much out of the running and Aberdeen’s main concern now is closing the 5 point gap that has opened up between them and the Govan side after their controversial win at Pittodrie on Wednesday night.

“It is nice that we have given ourselves a little bit of a cushion in the league, but I think we are all aware it’s not a huge gap. Our aim is to kick on now, but the focus this week is a little bit different,” Christie noted.

“It is an exciting week and, hopefully, we can come out of it with the results that we want.

“There are a few injury issues for the manager, but you can be sure that whoever is asked to play will give it everything to get us where we want to be.”

Also on The Celtic Star today…

Loan Confirmed! Ex-Celtic coach McGuinness signs Gutman for Charlotte Independence

A Brilliant Watch! ‘Paradise: Access All Areas’ from Celtic 2 Hibs 0

‘Celtic style of play is like Dortmund’s,’ Toljan’s happy in the Hoops

Jim Craig – Ex-Rangers player Willie Kivlichan scores twice for Celtic at Ibrox

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