Out-of-favour Celtic star Nir Bitton admits he needs to prove himself to Brendan Rodgers

Celtic's Nir Bitton celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates

The Hoops midfielders have been back to their best this season, meaning Bitton has struggled for game time of late.

Celtic’s Nir Bitton has told the Daily Record that he is focused on proving himself after falling out of favour under Brendan Rodgers and has refuted any doubts about his attitude.

The Israeli midfielder has endured a testing season so far, losing his place to an improving Stuart Armstrong in the line-up and being sent home from international duty by manager Elisha Levy earlier this month.

Consequently, the media in his homeland have asked repeated questions about his attitude of late, although Bitton has played down any speculation over his future with the Israel team, describing the situation as a misunderstanding.

Celtic's Nir Bitton celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates

And, after coming off the bench in Sunday’s 3-0 Scottish League Cup final win over Aberdeen, the 25-year-old insists that his only aim is to prove himself to manager Brendan Rodgers in order to wrestle his way back into the side.

“When I get a chance I need to show the gaffer I deserve to play. I try to do that in every game,” Bitton told the Daily Record. “It doesn’t matter if I play 90, 60 or 10 minutes – I’ll do my best to win for Celtic.

Celtic's Nir Bitton (R) celebrates scoring their first goal

“When you get a chance you have to take it because there are plenty of good players in our squad.

“But when you don’t play and we win trophies, it’s not about you – it’s about the team. And I am happy.”

A nominally defensive midfielder with an eye for the spectacular, Bitton has not started a game for Celtic since the League Cup semi-final win against Old Firm rivals Rangers last month despite being a regular in recent seasons.

And he has not been helped by the resurgent form of captain Scott Brown in the centre of the park, while rumours surrounding a January loan deal for Everton midfielder James McCarthy (Herald Scotland) will only push him further down the pecking order.

Everton's James McCarthy and Bournemouth's Glenn Murray

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch