Ryan Christie insists his development hasn’t stalled at Celtic and is desperate to impress new boss Brendan Rodgers and force his way into the first team.
Christie left Inverness CT to join the Hoops last season after helping the Highlanders to a third-placed finish and Scottish Cup success in 2015 but he has found his chances at the Scottish champions hard to come by.
“Obviously it has been frustrating not playing but it’s such a big squad and I need to remember I’ve signed a four-year deal so I’m here for the long term,” he told the club’s official website.
“I know that I’ve definitely learned and improved as a player, even if I’m not playing.
“I definitely feel I’ve come on through training with the boys and I’ve got stronger and fitter, so from that aspect I don’t really feel like it has stalled my improvement.
“So that’s good, but like I said, there is a very big squad so it’s hard to even get your name on the list before a game, but when I have been involved I’ve enjoyed it.”
Under Ronny Deila, the 21-year-old just started twice for the club once the league was already won. Christie hopes he will be given a chance to impress Rodgers and seize his opportunity.
“It’s nice when a new gaffer comes in because everyone knows they’re on the same level and you’re just fighting for a place to impress, so it’ll be in everyone’s head to step in the door on top form at pre-season.
“Obviously you go away in the summer to enjoy yourself and relax, but you keep yourself in good enough shape so that when you come back in you’re as fit as you can be as you are trying to impress the new gaffer straight away.
“As soon as you come back you realise for pre-season that you don’t actually have that long. It’s not like you have another month-and-a-half before your first game of the season. You need to go straight away.”