He might have just lost the race to regain his match fitness in time, but Ryan Christie is convinced his Celtic teammates can still be winners on Sunday without him.
The Hoops play second-placed Rangers at Celtic Park and will be looking for the win that will extend their lead at the top to what should be an uncatchable 13 points.
Christie has been absent from the Celtic team since February after picking up a hamstring injury, meaning the influential midfielder has missed 6 games so far.
Ideally, he’d have been back to face Rangers at the weekend, but the 24-year-old knows that his team have the winning mentality to see them through regardless.
He said: “The mentality is really good. The thing that helps is so many boys have been through this.
“Scott Brown is there every season and leads us, but you also have the likes of Mikael Lustig and James Forrest.
“When it comes to the crunch time, they know how to really step on
“It’s brilliant for the likes of me to have guys like that to motivate us.
“A few last-minute winners in the last couple of months are a credit to the team. We have a mentality to stick in and get over the line.”
Christie might not be playing against Rangers, but he will still be there, even if he finds being a spectator difficult.
He told Celtic TV: “I watched Hibs away in the Scottish Cup when I was back in Inverness.
“I was screaming at the telly and when James Forrest scored the worldie I was nearly knee-sliding on my living room carpet!”
Christie’s last game was the controversial tie against Motherwell, which also turned out to be Brendan Rodgers’ last game in charge of Celtic, meaning the midfielder has yet to play under Lennon.
All things going well though, should see him back for the Scottish Cup semi- final against Aberdeen and has been impressed by what he’s seen of the the new gaffer.
Ryan said: “He’s been brilliant. I think all the boys have agreed with that since he’s come in.
“Within a couple of days he pulled me aside to have a chat and get to know me a bit, and likewise me with him.
“That was nice, now I’m desperate to get my first taste playing under him.”
Christie has missed some huge games both for games for Celtic and Scotland and acknowledges his injury came at a crucial time for the team.
He said: “It’s always frustrating getting injured. I was really enjoying my football as we’d been on a great run.
“When you finally get back out running again, it’s always nice. Hopefully I can join training in the next couple of weeks.”
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