Scott Sinclair: Celtic move has rekindled love of the game

Scott Sinclair has scored 21 goals so far in his debut season in Scotland
Scott Sinclair has scored 21 goals so far in his debut season in Scotland

Scott Sinclair says Celtic have given him the perfect platform to prove his quality after a tough spell in England.

The 28-year-old grew frustrated at Manchester City before being relegated with Aston Villa but has hit 21 goals so far as Celtic clinched the league title in his first season in Scotland.

"It means so much to me because of the amount I've been through in the last few years," Sinclair said.

"It's worked out even better than I expected."

The Englishman spent five years at Chelsea before moving to Swansea in 2010, where he flourished under now-Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers.

His form for the Welsh outfit earned him an £8m move to Manchester City but he was unable to hold down a place in their star-studded line-up and spent much of his three-year spell there out on loan.

Sinclair helped himself to a sensational hat-trick in the 5-0 win over Hearts on Sunday
Sinclair helped himself to a sensational hat-trick in the 5-0 win over Hearts on Sunday

After moving to Villa he suffered relegation from the Premier League, but has rediscovered his love of the game at Celtic and capped a superb debut season with a hat-trick in Sunday's title-clinching 5-0 triumph at Hearts.

'I dug deep and stuck with it'

"Getting relegated with Villa was tough," he said. "You're at a stage in your career when it's frustrating that you can't show your attributes, so it's great that I've come here and can show that week-in, week-out.

"To score a hat-trick that ties down the league, words can't describe how I'm feeling.

"When I came here you guys asked me what I wanted to get out of it and the main thing was to enjoy football again.

"I lost that a little bit. To go to City and for two years you're not even getting a sniff, not even making the bench some weeks and training on your own - it's mentally draining and it can affect you on and off the field. But I dug deep and stuck with it and I'm getting the rewards."

Sinclair says he has always had a inbuilt desire to better himself and revealed he even hired a coach to help him deal with the psychological side of the game during his time at Villa.

Sinclair grew frustrated with football during his time at Manchester City
Sinclair grew frustrated with football during his time at Manchester City

"Back at City I signed a contract that was life-changing but that didn't stop me wanting to do even better and wanting to play," he said.

"I had a mental coach that probably no-one knew about, for about six months, his name is Jag Shoker. You get to a stage in your career when you've signed a contract and it's about what you want out of the game - for me it's about enjoying playing football and playing week-in, week-out under a manager who gives me that belief and confidence.

"This is going back around a year when I was at Villa, working with Jag to change my mental state. He's helped me shift that to keep me performing again.

"I've always looked to better myself - I went through a spell when I wasn't really showing what I've got and people were questioning my ability, but coming here and signing with a manager who believes in you, you can't really ask for more."

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