AS far as victims of their own success go, there can’t be many better examples than Celtic attacker Scott Sinclair.

It is a strange anomaly to be sitting down with a player who has just come off the back of a season when he was his club’s top scorer and to be discussing how he can improve upon what was an ultimately disappointing personal campaign for him, but such are the standards that Sinclair has set.

His remarkable debut season in which he electrified the Celtic support on his way to 25 goals and a clutch of personal awards gave way to a campaign in which he didn’t look at his best despite still hitting the net 18 times.

Read more: Celtic winger James Forrest prepared for rocky road to Champions League group stage​

Sinclair gives a resigned laugh when the point is made to him, but in-keeping with the words of manager Brendan Rodgers earlier this week, he does agree that this year, there appears to be more of a spring in his step as he gets ready for the slog of Champions League qualification.

“It’s funny because when people speak about me they say I had a bad season, but I was the club’s top goalscorer,” Sinclair said.

“If I had scored 10 goals the first season, they would have been saying it was my best season. For me, it’s not just about goals, it’s about my contribution.

“For assists, I was up there as well, so for me I just want to get back to that, enjoy my football and give 100 per cent.

“The level I set was so high and getting player of the year – I then tried to replicate that game after game. You want to keep the standard but whatever scenario I keep giving 100 per cent. Hopefully, I this can be an even better season for me again.

“That is the pressure I have put on myself. Every single game I go into everyone expects two or three goals or me to get man of the match, but it is not always going to be the case.  

“As long as I am giving 100 per cent I will get back to that level and show the fans the excitement of me playing again.”

Read more: Celtic winger James Forrest prepared for rocky road to Champions League group stage​

And Sinclair made sure he was giving 100 per cent in every training session in Celtic’s pre-season trip in Austria over the past week, and he will do so again in Dublin at the weekend when they take on Shamrock Rovers as he looks to ensure he is in the starting line-up for the Alashkert match next week.

His manager would do well to include him, having proven his aptitude for delivering on the big occasion with four goals in last season’s qualifiers.

It wasn’t so long ago there was a seed of doubt in Rodgers’ mind over the physical and mental condition of the attacker though, feeling the need to pull him aside in the lead up to the Scottish Cup final last season to give him a pep talk. 

“He just told me to keep going and not to drop my head, because you want to play in finals and I want to play in every game,” he said. “I think he knows that.

“I want to play in them all, and he basically told me not to let my head drop and to keep going.

“The work I have been putting in on the off-season [means] I have come back really sharp. Last year was a quick turnaround. We had two weeks off and we were straight back in. This year I have had a good break and managed to get in a lot of relaxation, so I am ready to go again.

“I feel physically it is the best I have been, the way I have been working in pre-season. I feel fit and ready and excited about this season.

“I’ve scored a lot of big goals in the Champions League qualifiers and enjoy the big games. As players, that’s the games you want to play in.”

Read more: Celtic winger James Forrest prepared for rocky road to Champions League group stage​

Part of Sinclair’s relaxed mindset comes from the feeling of contentment he has with family life in Glasgow.

His wife, Coronation Street actress Helen Flanagan, recently gave birth to their second child, and second daughter, Delilah.

“Two girls now – there will be pink all over the house, dresses and everything,” he said. “It is good. It was a bit of a shame I had to come away right away for pre-season because I was only with them for about two days before I came out [to Austria].  

“You have to take care of your family and coming away sometimes can be difficult. You miss your kids and you want to get back them. As soon as they are born you want to be with them.

“Being back I will get to see them.

“We’re settled here. We’ve been here for two years now, and we’re happy living in Glasgow.”

Meanwhile former Celtic defender and assistant manager Johan Mjallby has tipped Rodgers to “lead Celtic to success in Europe”. 

Asked whether Rodgers could so in an interview with BetStars, Mjallby replied: “Yes, without a shadow of doubt. He was a great pick from Celtic, the football he stands for is very similar to the Celtic style of football, passing the ball and playing with pace. 

“They have been dominant domestically and had two unbelievable seasons in Scotland, winning the treble twice, which is a fantastic achievement. Under Brendan they can build on last years’ experience in the Champions League and deliver the goods, he can definitely lead them to success in Europe.”