Celtic's Andre Blackman eyes more Inverness awards

Andre Blackman is eyeing many more man of the match awards to impress both current side Inverness Caledonian Thistle and employers Celtic.

The 21-year-old Englishman was the top performer as he made his debut on loan to the Highlanders in their 1-1 draw with Aberdeen.

"It is pleasing, but I can't rest there," he told BBC Scotland.

"I have got to take man of the match in the next game and help win three points for the team."

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Celtic expect me to come out here and learn and equip myself well

Andre Blackman Inverness Caley Thistle defender

A late Cammy Smith equaliser denied Caley Thistle their first Scottish Premier League win of the season to leave Terry Butcher's side equal on points with Dundee at the foot of the table.

But Blackman said: "The boys are fantastic here and there's a great togetherness that you don't find at every club - it is a real family club.

"I've seen what they have done in training and it was nice to be playing in a competitive game with them for myself.

"There are a bunch of fighters out there and I really respect that."

Despite his own self-confessed reputation as a hotheaded teenager, the big defender was calmness personified amid the storm of a game that featured a red card for each side and three more yellows for Inverness.

Blackman only played twice for first senior club Bristol City and 13 for AFC Wimbledon before finding himself tarred with a bad reputation and out of football for 18 months.

Blackman is still contracted for two more seasons with Scottish champions Celtic

Blackman is still contracted for two more seasons with Scottish champions Celtic

However, he enrolled himself in the youth academy run by Jamie Lawrence, who contacted former Leicester City team-mate Neil Lennon suggesting the young Londoner was worth a trial.

Blackman has only made three first-team appearances since signing for Celtic in October 2011 but is delighted just to be part of the fabric of a Glasgow institution able to spend millions to supplement their squad.

"Celtic are a very big club and attract very good players," said the player who is no stranger to top sides having been with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Portsmouth as a youth.

"You want to have a challenge in your life and your career and I'm thankful that Celtic have given me a chance and saw something in me.

"It is still a learning curve for me.

"I have been around very good players and what they have given me in experience, I hope I can bring it to Caley Thistle and do well here."

Blackman has initially been farmed out to Caley Thistle until January and, with two years of his Celtic contract still to run, is happy to let his long-term future be settled by his future performances.

"Every footballer wants to be playing week-in, week-out, but not playing showed me just how good the players are around me and I have taken advice from them," he said.

"Celtic expect me to come out here and learn and equip myself well.

"I cannot say what the future holds.

"I am at Caley Thistle and intend to play my part week-in, week-out and whatever happens, happens.

"I've still got to respect Celtic Football Club for giving me a chance to show everyone what I can do."