Ryan Christie happy to be making a contribution at Celtic

Ryan Christie hopes his significant big-game contribution against Hearts can kick-start his Celtic career.

The half-time substitute was involved in all three goals at BT Murrayfield as Celtic progressed to the Betfred Cup final.

Christie won a penalty, saw his shot spilled before James Forrest tapped home, and netted the goal of the game by stroking the ball first-time into the top corner from 22 yards.

It was the midfielder’s first Celtic goal since August 2016, although he spent 18 months on loan at Aberdeen since then.

And he hopes his display gives manager Brendan Rodgers faith to play him more often.

“I’m always happy to get on the score sheet,” the 23-year-old said. “I have needed that. I have come on and had a few chances and missed so I’m happy to finally get on the score sheet. So hopefully now I can kick on and get some more.

“That’s what I have been looking for; that faith. Right now I am full of confidence and I always have belief that I can come in and make a positive impact for the team. Hopefully when called upon I can do the same again.

“It has been about patience. Everyone wants to play week in, week out but at a big club like Celtic that’s hard for anyone to do. I will keep going with this confidence and momentum and trying to make an impact.”

Scott Sinclair made the breakthrough from the spot early in the second half after Oliver Bozanic was penalised for a foul on Sinclair.

“I thought it was a stonewall penalty,” Christie said. “I have kind of taken the ball past the player I think, and he has clipped my leg and it’s enough to put me completely off balance and lose my feet.

“I have almost tried to stay on my feet but I have got no chance, and with Willie Collum being a few yards away, it’s pretty obvious for him as well, and that’s probably why he gave it so quickly.”

Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal scrambled the ball away from his line after spilling Christie’s shot and the former Inverness player was happy to give Forrest the credit for the second goal.

“I’ve seen it back and to be fair it’s hard to give that one straight away, so I will give that to Jamesy,” he said. “If I hadn’t scored after that I think it would be a different scenario.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers revealed Christie was in talks over a contract extension and the player is keen to stay at Parkhead.

“I love being a Celtic player, I love playing for this club and for me there’s no better club to be at or play for,” he said. “We will wait and see what happens.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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