Ryan Christie: League Cup winner feared Celtic exit loomed
Scottish League Cup final match-winner Ryan Christie feared he may have to leave Celtic after returning from a third loan spell in the summer.
The midfielder, 23, became a mainstay of Brendan Rodgers' side in late October, signing a new deal last month.
His goal in the 1-0 final win over former team Aberdeen took his haul to five in eight games.
Christie never "accepted" he was destined to exit Celtic but "thought that's where my route was going".
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"A lot was made that maybe it was time for me to go elsewhere but fair play to the manager, he told me where he thought he saw me and he thought I still had a chance," he added.
"Ever since he told me that I've been working to try and get in the team and I'm happy when it pays off on days like today."
Christie, the son of former Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle player Charlie Christie, ended a season-and-a-half loan stint at Pittodrie in June, having also been loaned back to ICT after joining Celtic in 2015.
Manager Derek McInnes revealed Aberdeen "thought we would" sign Christie during the summer and had even kept his "favourite number 22" vacant.
Rodgers joked that "when I first came up here, he used to be Charlie Christie's son and now Charlie is known as Ryan Christie's dad".
"My dad is the person I owe the most to, to be where I am today," Christie said. "Seeing him after the game I got a bit emotional. It's my family that I do this for. I'm buzzing he managed to see that."