Ryan Christie thriving under new Bournemouth boss and keen to address Scotland dry spell
He has since left Celtic to join Bournemouth. More recently, he has become a father. He has also played another 25 times for Scotland scoring just one further goal. Christie admits that this detail has started to irk him.
His fine strike on that memorable night in Belgrade was his fourth international goal in five outings. Since then only once, when he struck a penalty winner against the Republic of Ireland a year ago, has the 28-year-old found the net for the national side.
Perhaps returning to the country where he scored his first Scotland goal will prove inspiring. Christie got off the mark in his 10th appearance to set his side on the way to a 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifier win over Cyprus in Nicosia four years ago. “I could do with a few more, the goals seem to have stopped of late,” he reflected this week as preparations continued ahead of tomorrow's Euro 2024 qualifier in Larnaca.
“Scoring goals is amazing and when you do it at international level it’s even better," he added. "I’m desperate to add to my tally and help the team out because Scotty has been doing it all himself.”
Scotty is Scott McTominay, who has turned into the new Ally McCoist in recent times after five goals in his last four outings. This Scotland squad is full of goals, which is something that hasn't always been the case.
Christie wants to start weighing in again. “To this day, that Serbia goal is the favourite in my career,” he said. “That kind of speaks volumes. Any time you score for your country is great. I even loved scoring the penalty in the Ireland game. When you’re scoring to help the team achieve something it’s a nice feeling.”
A winner tomorrow evening against Temuri Ketsbaia’s Cyprus will do nicely. It would be greeted as a major finals-clinching strike by the thousands of Tartan Army members who have made the trip to the sunshine island. Sleepless nights apart, new father Christie currently feels renewed.
“I’m feeling really good," he said. "We’ve got a new manager at Bournemouth [Andoni Iraola] and I’m loving working under him.”
Mostly employed in his favoured No 10 role under the Spaniard, Christie has scored once so far this season – and is looking for more. No prizes for guessing to whom his next goal will be dedicated – Leon, who was born shortly after the win over Georgia earlier this summer.
“I was worried he’d appear while we were over there,” he recalled. “That was only about a week to the due date and Graeme Jones (SFA head of high-performance) had my phone every day at training.
“In fact, the day before the Georgia game I was doing some shooting drills and he came running over with my phone. I thought, ‘Oh my God it’s happening!’” Turns out it was just his Dad, Charlie, calling. Leon and mother Georgie Bell held on until a few days afterwards. Now it’s Christie’s turn to deliver.
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