Magnitude of Celtic’s treble treble hasn’t sunk in for Ryan Christie

Ryan Christie believes it will take years for Celtic to fully appreciate the magnitude of their treble treble triumph.

Ryan Christie is back in training with Celtic after recovering from a facial injury he sustained in April. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

But the playmaker insists their immediate focus has to be firmly on facing what he expects to be an improved challenge to their unprecedented domestic dominance in the season ahead.

“Last year, the rest of Scottish football all stepped up, throughout the whole league, and I’m sure that will happen again this year,” said Christie. “As always, it’s up to us to match that and go one further again.

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“The significance of the 
treble treble probably hasn’t set it now, and I’m not sure if will. We didn’t get that much of a break. When you do, you tend to switch off, you don’t think about football for a little bit, and that lets you come back more focused than ever.

“The celebrations after winning another cup final were brilliant, it’s such a remarkable achievement. But I don’t think it will really kick in until a few years from now, when we look back and realise what a massive achievement it is.

“The other side of that is that we don’t have to time to rest on our laurels. We have to get right back at it and pick up from where we left off last season, because we want silverware every season at this club. At pre-season training, we wipe the board clean and we go again. It’s an even playing field now, and we need to prove we can win trophies once more.”

Christie, sidelined since suffering a horrific facial injury in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen in April, returned to action for Celtic on Wednesday when they defeated Austrian fourth-tier side Pinkafeld 6-1 in their opening pre-season friendly match.

Neil Lennon’s men have encountered sweltering conditions this week as they step up their preparations for their Champions League opener against Sarajevo in Bosnia on 9 July.

Celtic captain Scott Brown is relishing the gruelling demands being placed upon the players and has been especially impressed by his first glimpses of Ukrainian winger
Marian Shved. The 21-year-old joined Celtic in January but was immediately loaned back to Karpaty Lviv for the rest of the season.

“Marian has been great, he’s come out on the training pitch with us and he’s been fantastic in the changing room, he’s spoken to the lads and he’s trained really well,” Brown told the Celtic website. “He’s scored a couple of crackers at training as well. It’s good to see him eventually training with the boys.

“It’s been very good, the weather has been phenomenal, it was 37 degrees on the training field. We managed to get a good running session in, no balls, but it’s been interesting and we’ve worked well in this heat. Our main focus is on pressing and making sure we’re fitter than any other team we play in the league.

“Today’s session was about showing why that is, because whether it’s 37 degrees or minus five in Scotland, we still put the same effort in and still work the same way.”

Brown, who sat out the Pinkafeld game, was enthused by Leigh Griffiths’ scoring return and the displays of youngsters Mikey Johnston and Ewan Henderson.

“The lads played very well, and it was great to see Leigh out there as well, he got 45 minutes in his legs,” said Brown. “For me, Mikey Johnston, Ewan Henderson, those guys have been fantastic. Mikey came on, took the captain’s armband and has been chatting away to me, telling me how proud he was. It’s fantastic to see him wearing that and to see him score a couple of goals too.”