Game time the key for Christie

Ryan Christie revealed the opinion of Brendan Rodgers and enthusiasm of Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes quickly convinced him that a loan move was the right option.

The 21-year-old vowed to fight for his place in the Celtic team last week but Parkhead manager Rodgers decided the creative midfielder would be better served moving to Aberdeen until the end of the season.

Speaking at a media conference in Pittodrie, Christie said: “He (Rodgers) told me about Aberdeen and he didn’t so much as say that he was forcing me out the door but he gave me his opinion and said he thought it was a good idea, and to be fair I agreed with him completely.

“It was good to get his thoughts on it and he heard my thoughts, and after speaking to the manager (McInnes) as well, all of a sudden I was really excited and desperate to be here.”

The former Inverness player is keen to remind Scottish football of his potential after making 13 appearances in his first year at Celtic.

“It’s been almost a full year without a proper run of game time, so it will be a nice feeling to have that back,” said Christie, who could make his debut against Dundee on Friday night.

“Also I want to prove to myself as well that I can still fit in and show people I’m a good player.

“I can’t say anything bad about it because I have had such an enjoyable year at Celtic in every aspect of it. Training is brilliant. Every player wants to play as much as they can so I was always going to get frustrated.

“But at the same time I knew I was going to have to stay patient when I first signed for Celtic. It’s been about a year now and I think it was just about time to not go too long without game time and that’s one of the reasons why I had to come here.”

The Scotland Under-21 international deleted his Twitter account on Tuesday amid claims he wrote derogatory comments about his new club in his younger days, but he was full of praise for the Dons in an earlier interview with their RedTV channel.

“I look at Aberdeen as the second biggest team in Scotland right now,” he said. “In terms of all the other clubs in Scotland, Aberdeen were probably the only other one I would have joined.”

McInnes was delighted Christie chose his club over others and dismissed concerns from some fans that they are helping their Ladbrokes Premiership rivals develop a player.

McInnes said: “I just want to get good players in from wherever. We don’t have the luxury of just being able to go and get quality players, especially in the January window.

“It happens in other countries and we need to be a bit more grown-up about it. There were other clubs asking about a potential loan move and he has chosen us, and I think that says a lot about us and how he views Aberdeen.”

The Aberdeen manager wants “at least one more” signing before the transfer window closes and would not rule out a return for James Maddison, whose initial loan spell from Norwich ended earlier this month.

“We haven’t heard from Norwich, it was indicated we would hear from them at the start of the week,” McInnes said.

“James did very well and I made no secret of the fact I wanted to keep him but I can’t sit back and hope. We were let down a wee bit last year in the January window by two or three things. And it was important we dealt with what we can deal with, and we have managed to make a good signing.

“Whether James or anyone else can get done before the window closes remains to be seen. We haven’t shut the door on it.”

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