IT’s the position every young player wants to star in, but so vital is the role that only a select few have the skills to be good enough.

Ryan Christie always had his eye on being a team’s No.10, even as a kid. He played as the playmaker for Inverness and when on loan at Aberdeen, between long spells as a wide player, but it’s only at Celtic the Highlander has shown he’s the man to be trusted.

It would have greatly heartened Neil Lennon to see Christie, in his first game back from that horrific facial injury, be a stand-out in their 3-1 win in Sarajevo. It was especially interesting to note that when things were not going the way of Celtic, it was Christie more than anyone who tried to make things happen for his team.

A happy Christie admitted: “The target is to kick on. I want to stay in the team week in, week out, and hopefully if I can, I need to put in big performances, score goals and create goals. The position that I was playing on Tuesday night, that number 10, I love playing in there. The gaffer says he sees me in there so that’s music to my ears. He wants to me to deal with that pressure.

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“It was amazing to get back on the pitch. It’s been a long time, even since February it’s been frustrating with injuries. Touch wood that I’m back in for the long run now and can really kick on.

“The manager is brilliant for all the attacking players we’ve got in the squad, especially for me. He wants us to play attacking football. I love playing in that position and he’s big on getting the ball to me, Odsonne and the two wingers. It suits me down to the ground.

“I was itching to get back. Ever since I came back in for pre-season I was desperate to get going again. When I found out I was starting tonight I was absolutely buzzing.

“As a team we’re delighted to get a win but I’m frustrated myself that I couldn’t get a goal. I’ll take the assist off the fringe! I had a few shots but didn’t really catch them. There’s definitely positives to take forward.”

Lennon is a fan of Christie and so is James Forrest, last season’s multiple Player of the Year award winner, who was impressed by the way his team-mate has come back from being knocked unconscious by Aberdeen’s Dom Ball back in April during the Scottish Cup semi-final.

Christie is not 100 per cent. His eyesight is still affected and yet on Tuesday night, and in the pre-season matches, he look better than ever.

Forrest said: “Ryan made a massive impact in the middle of the park. You think back to that spell last season when he was on fire for a few months. He got that bad injury but he's looked really strong over the pre-season campaign.

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"In training, it's like he has never been away and he took that into the Sarajevo game. He was on great form and I think he's going to be a big player for us again this season.”

Christie and Celtic now have two games at home, Saturday’s friendly against Stade Rennais, and then Tuesday’s Europa League qualifying second-leg against Sarajevo.

Christie said: “I think the reaction after Sarajevo scored was very good and in the second half especially the legs took over and they tired a lot. We’re happy but you can’t say the time is over. We’re confident going to Celtic Park.

“The games come around so quickly so we are delighted to get off to a winning start. We’ll be back at Celtic Park for the first competitive game next week so we’ll be looking forward to that as well.”