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CHRISTIE THANKS DONS

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RYAN CHRISTIE admits it will be strange playing against his former Aberdeen team-mates in tomorrow’s Betfred League Cup Final.

The midfielder spent 18 months on loan at Pittodrie before returning to Celtic in the summer.

Christie has been a revelation since coming on at the interval as a substitute against Hearts in the competition’s semi-final at Murrayfield seven games ago.

Brendan Rodgers introduced the 23-year-old Highlander for the injured Olivier Ntcham and the classy playmaker took his chance to make a genuine impact.

DUNDEE UNDONE…Ryan Christie flashes in a goal in the 5-0 win at Dens Park in October.

Christie was involved in all three second–half goals in the 3-0 triumph – including chipping in with an exquisite effort for the third – and he has been a fixture in the Hoops first team ever since.

Boss Rodgers has been so impressed he offered the Scotland international a three-year extension which the player signed last month.

Christie, who played a key role in the 1-0 Europa League Group B victory over Rosenborg in Trondheim on Thursday, has now set his sights on the national stadium tomorrow and the silverware shoot-out with his ex-Dons pals.

He said: “It is a big week. We wanted to get a win in the first game and we did that. Now it is the big one on Sunday.

“It will be a strange one coming up against Aberdeen – if, of course, I do play.

“Obviously, everyone at the club wants to win trophies and if we get one so early in the season we will be delighted with that.”

Christie also reckons he owes Aberdeen gaffer Derek McInnes and the club for what he had learned during his temporary transfer.

DONS UNDONE…Ryan Christie in action for Aberdeen in last season’s 3-0 Scottish Cup semi-final defeat. Motherwell striker Curtis Main puts in a last-ditch challenge. Pics: Geo.

He added: “It was a huge for my development and my career.

“When I went to Pittodrie it was the first time that I had a full season of playing. That really set me up for coming back to Celtic and having a stronger mindset. It made me stronger physically, as well. I came back in better shape, so I have to give a lot of credit to Dons.

“I can’t really say thank you enough to all the staff because I loved my time up there.”

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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