Celtic's Ryan Christie aiming to keep his place in Brendan Rodgers' starting XI

Ryan Christie

Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie said he always had the "belief and confidence" in himself to make an impact at Celtic as he bids to keep his place in the starting XI.

Christie came back to Celtic in the summer following an 18-month loan spell but was rarely used by manager Brendan Rodgers at the beginning of the season.

Since cementing his place in the starting line-up, Christie has scored four goals and was also selected to represent Scotland for their wins over Albania and Israel in the UEFA Nations League.

 Aberdeen's Ryan Christie celebrates his equaliser against Ross County at Pittodrie last weekend, one of his two goals in the 2017/18 Premiership.
Image: Christie scored 10 goals for Aberdeen in 45 appearances

Speaking on his form, he said: "I've had a really good run of games and at the Scotland camp as well, it was amazing to be a part of that along with the two wins as well.

"I've not really had time to review it yet because we have had so many games but it is brilliant for the likes of me.

"I am really enjoying being in that starting XI right now and it is giving me that urge to keep my place.

"I still had confidence in myself and the belief that I had the ability to make an impact at Celtic. I found it frustrating earlier in the season, it was hard to get that chance.

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"But once I got that chance it was all about me taking it and now I am happy that I am finally scoring goals and helping create goals - that is my job as an attacking midfielder. If I am doing that, then I am happy."

Ryan Christie during the Betfred Scottish League Cup Semi Final between Heart of Midlothian FC and Celtic FC on October 28, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. 0:33
Christie is delighted to have signed a new three-year contract with the club

Celtic play Aberdeen in the Scottish League Cup final on Sunday at Hampden Park.

The last time the two sides met in a cup final saw Celtic win 2-1 in the Scottish Cup in May 2017, but the 23-year-old was ineligible to play as he could not feature for Derek McInnes' Aberdeen side against his parent club.

"It's obviously quite funny how it works out as it will be against Aberdeen this time," Christie said. "Everybody wants to play in cup finals so hopefully I'll get that chance on Sunday.

"Obviously when you first sign the loan deal you are kind of reminded of that, you just pass it over, but then the cup final comes around and I realised how frustrating it was.

"It was at the end of the season as well. Obviously, at the time it was frustrating but it is funny how these things work out."

The current Scottish champions are on a six game unbeaten run and face Rosenborg in the Europa League on Thursday before the cup final at the weekend.

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