Brian Rice has showered praise on Celtic attacker Ryan Christie saying he has always been a hard worker in the training ground.

Christie started his youth career at Inverness before breaking into the senior side in 2013. Rice, the Hamilton Accies boss, worked with Christie at Caley Thistle before his move to Celtic in 2015.

The 24-year-old initially struggled to make an impact at the Bhoys and Brendan Rodgers even considered selling him at one point. But he worked hard to get into the side and now has established himself as one of the key players for Neil Lennon’s side.

Rice has hailed Celtic star as a ‘fantastic footballer’. He revealed that when he first saw him in the training ground, he knew that he was a special talent.

He said to The Scottish Sun: “Ryan is a fantastic footballer. When I first went to Inverness, John Hughes said to me, ‘You need to see this kid we’ve got’, and as soon as I saw him in the first training session I just knew the kid was special.”

“He lives for football. It means everything to him. He’s a terrific talent and he wants to improve and get better and better.

“What you see on a Saturday from Ryan is what you see every day in training. He’s last off the training field, he practises free-kicks, he practises crossing and shooting.”

Christie has been in outstanding form this season for the Bhoys. He has scored eight goals already including a hattrick against St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership.

He also stole the show in Celtic’s 5-0 win against Nomme Kalju in the Champions League qualifier in July.

Celtic will face Hamilton in their next match after the international break.

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