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Christie understands patience is a virtue for Celts

Celtic 3-0 Hamilton Academical

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Vital touch: Ryan Christie gives Celtic a two-goal cushion

Vital touch: Ryan Christie gives Celtic a two-goal cushion

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Vital touch: Ryan Christie gives Celtic a two-goal cushion

Ryan Christie admitted Celtic had to exercise their usual Parkhead patience before eventually overcoming Hamilton 3-0 on Saturday.

The Hoops were kept at bay by defensively-minded Accies for 40 minutes until goalkeeper Ryan Fulton let a deflected long-distance drive from midfielder Callum McGregor slip through his legs.

However, it took until the 76th minute, when midfielder Christie capitalised on a fumble by Fulton to make it 2-0, for the Parkhead side to be able to relax, with in-form winger Scott Sinclair heading in a late third from a Mikael Lustig cross for his eighth goal in seven games.

Boss Brendan Rodgers celebrated his 46th birthday by seeing his side go three points ahead of Kilmarnock at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership, with their game in hand at home to St Johnstone on Wednesday night offering a chance to increase their lead.

"It is the same with every team that comes to Celtic Park," Christie said.

"No game is easy and yet again it was frustrating in periods and we had to keep moving the ball and move it at pace as well.

"The important thing is we stayed patient and the goals came.

"I got a bit fortunate with my goal. It just rebounded and hit my knee and managed to go in the net.

"I was happy, obviously in the second half we were just desperate for the second goal to relax a little bit and when it came I think you felt that and we put the game to bed which was nice."

Scotland midfielder McGregor, who racked up his 47th game of season for club and country, also described the match as "a wee bit frustrating at times".

"Credit to Hamilton, they came sat in and had a decent shape," he said.

"The goalkeeper made a good few saves and we were getting to the last 10-15 minutes in the game before we managed to get a couple of extra goals to sweeten it up for us.

"We are delighted with another three points."

Fulton was a youth player at Liverpool when Rodgers was boss at Anfield and the Carnlough man was sympathetic.

He said: "Young Ryan was unfortunate. He might get a wee bit of stick for the second one but the first one is difficult - it has come through so many bodies.

"He was an outstanding young goalkeeper and highly-rated there (at Liverpool), but like all young goalkeepers they need to go out and play.

"He made saves in the first half, he kicks the ball a mile and he was unfortunate with the second as the pitch is bobbly and it popped up in front of him. But other than that he kept the scoreline down."

Belfast Telegraph