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Thursday 8 December 2016

Mackay-Steven: I will be better next season

Gary Mackay-Steven has told Celtic fans they have not yet seen the best of him in the green and white hoops.

The winger joined Celtic in early February from Dundee United and scored four goals in 15 games, winning Ronny Deila's trust to the extent that he started both Europa League games against Inter Milan.

But coach John Kennedy declared this week that Mackay-Steven (inset) and former Tannadice team-mate Stuart Armstrong were effectively new signings as they had initially been earmarked for the coming season, and the former Liverpool trainee is ready to bring something fresh to the team again.

"I have been here for a few months but they have flown in," said the 24-year-old as he promoted Celtic's new all-green away strip.

"It was great to come in January and get to know everyone and get to know how the manager works but I feel this season I can really express myself and show what I can do here.

"It's gone well so far but there's definitely a lot more to come from me, so I'm really excited for the season."

Celtic's campaign begins in mid-July against Champions League second qualifying-round opponents Stjarnan, who are nine games into their league season.

Mackay-Steven and most of his team-mates started pre-season training yesterday afternoon but the former Airdrie player is confident they will be sharp enough for the Icelandic champions.

"I'm sure we'll do the right preparation and be ready," he said. "With three weeks off, you are getting a break but I don't think our fitness levels will be too low. It will just be a case of topping up hopefully.

"We won't take them lightly. We know a little bit about them from last season when they beat Motherwell so it's going to be no easy task."

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