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CELTIC AND SCOTLAND: CHRISTIE AIMS FOR CHANGE

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CELTIC playmaker Ryan Christie is hoping a week will make a massive difference in his recent experiences.

Last Sunday, the Hoops star was shown a straight red card by referee Willie Collum for a high challenge on Livingston’s Scott Robinson as the champions collapsed to a 2-0 loss to surrender their unbeaten domestic record.

Tomorrow, Christie hopes to get the nod from Steve Clarke to play against San Marino in the Euro 2020 qualifying tie at Hampden.

The Highlander came on in the 68th minute in the 4-0 Moscow mauling against rampant Russia on Thursday as the Scots suffered their fourth successive reversal while conceding THIRTEEN goals in the process.

SEEING RED…Scott Robinson takes off after Ryan Christie’s lunge at Livingston.

Reflecting on his uncharacteristic lunge at Robinson that brought him his first sending-off of his career, Christie, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I’m over it now and it helped getting back onto the park in Russia, even though the result was not what I or we wanted.

“At one point, I just wanted to bury my head in the sand a little bit.

“It was nice not to be suspended for these games and get a chance and, hopefully, I can get another chance on Sunday to bounce back.

“Russia are a good side and we got punished. I don’t know if it was inexperience or what, but it was obviously a harsh lesson we need to learn from quickly.

“It’s so frustrating because we do want to build a bit of momentum. We’d all been talking before Moscow about the last four games in the group and building things up.

“All week we worked to come up with a gameplan and everyone felt good again.

“We looked as though we could bring a result home and then 57 or 58 minutes we lose a goal. It’s strange because we felt good. They created a bit in the first-half, but we came out and got a foothold in the game.

SEEING RED…Russian striker Artem Dzyuba scores his nation’s third goal with the Scots defence in disarray.

“That’s just when you need to keep your concentration at its highest and again it’s a set-piece.

“The gaffer was a bit frustrated about that and we need to learn quickly.

“Is it hurtful? Yes. For a number of reasons. At any level, I don’t like to use a word like embarrassing, but that’s what it feels like, especially towards the end when they were in complete control of the game.

“Also for the gaffer as well who has worked so hard for us and, we feel, has been drilling us really well for the game.

“We’re probably letting him down when it comes to the games right now.

“It’s important for us to go again. It was tough on Thursday, but we need to put in a good performance on Sunday.

“We need to stop this run of defeats and get a win. If we can win convincingly, even better.

“Hopefully, things will come back a bit and get that belief back again. We want to end the trip on a high and look to get two wins against Cyprus and Kazakhstan in November.”

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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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