Jozo Simunovic ready to fight


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Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic has admitted he is now willing to stay and fight for his place after speaking to manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Croatian defender was a regular starter at the beginning of the season but lost his place in the final few months of the campaign.

He dropped down the pecking order after he was sent off during the Old Firm victory over Rangers at Ibrox in March.

Rodgers then decided to use Kristoffer Ajer and Dedryck Boyata as his main two centre-backs for the final two months of the season.

Simunovic did get to play 15 minutes of Saturday’s 2-0 Scottish Cup final win over Motherwell although reports claimed he would look to leave this summer.

However, the 23-year-old insists he will do all he can to impress Rodgers again going forward.

He told The Scotsman: “The second half of the season was frustrating but by the end it was okay for me. I’ve been ready to play all the time and it’s just been down to the decision of the manager.

“Of course I wanted to show my best in training but it’s the manager’s decision, and the thing is in the end we won the treble. He explained it to me and I’m still very happy here.

I cannot tell you what he said to me – that must remain personal. But it was a very good conversation.

“It’s a challenge for me to get back in the team. I’m looking forward to next season, to working hard and trying to get back in. My contract is here for another three years and I’m ready for that.”

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