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CHRISTIE’S HELL TO REACH PARADISE

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CELTIC’S stylish midfielder Ryan Christie admitted he had to go through hell to reach Paradise.

The Highlander, who has been a revelation this season, was forced to work overtime on his skills by his dad Charlie, the former Hoops forward.

Christie revealed: “At the time, it certainly felt like a hindrance to me, but, once you grow up and become a bit more mature, you realise how much of a help that was.

“I’m very lucky to have someone so close to me who’s been through a career in football and who knows all the pitfalls.

“My dad coached me and I thought it was hell for a few years, but now I realise how important that was.

“To be fair, he’s always been supportive and he was delighted when I signed my new deal with Celtic. He’s been brilliant – he knows the game and what happens in it and he’s a great person to turn to if I need any help or advice.

“There was never much pressure put on me and it wasn’t too bad, growing up in Inverness. However, because he coached me, if I had a bad game then the whole team would suffer the team talk and then go home – only I’d go back with my dad and it would keep going until bedtime. It could be a bit relentless.

“Obviously, back then you don’t see the bigger picture; it’s only now that you realise he always had the best intentions.”

WEAH TO GO…new Bhoy Timothy Weah scores on his debut against Airdrie.

The champions host St Mirren this evening as they resume Premiership duties and Christie is eager for the Hoops to put together a consistent run of form.

Striker Odsonne Edouard has resumed training, but isn’t yet fully fit and that could open the door for on-loan Paris Saint-Germain attacker Timothy Weah who came on as a 69th-minute substitute netted the team’s third goal in their 3-0 Scottish Cup win over League One part-timers Airdrie at Parkhead on Saturday night.

Christie admitted: “He was getting a bit of stick for his celebration – it seemed to go on for about five minutes. Fair play to him, he has been eager to get going since he joined us in Dubai. So, I think everyone was delighted for him to get a goal on his debut.

“You can see he’s wanting to learn. He is still very young and for all the qualities he has got he is very humble. You certainly wouldn’t think he has come from a club like PSG. that’s for sure. You can see his desire to come here and work hard.

“He has a great American accent – he is getting a bit of stick for that as well. But he has fitted in really well.”

Weah might get the nod from boss Brendan Rodgers to start against the struggling Paisley side with Oliver Burke, who led the line against Airdrie,  on the substitutes’ bench.

The Scotland international tried his best to mark his first appearance with a goal, but was clearly short of match-fitness after failing to secure a regular place at the Hawthorns outfit.

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Editor

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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