IF Celtic have been giving everyone else in Scottish football some sleepless nights this season, then Nir Bitton can empathise.

The Celtic midfielder has just become a father for the first time, and with daughter Emma quite capable of keeping Bitton awake, his wife, Bar, does a perfect “marking” role to allow the Israeli international the rest he needs to stay part of Brendan Rodgers’ plans.

Bitton was reported to be on his way out at Celtic during the winter break, after the emergence of Stuart Armstrong in midfield this season. However, Bitton played an important role last week in the 5-2 win over St Johnstone with Armstrong injured.

“The day before a game, I’ll sleep alone,” said Bitton. “My wife tries to help me as much as she can. Having a settled family life definitely helped when I was out of the team.

“I’ve played in the last few games and it’s great to be back again. I want to try to help Celtic win as much as possible, achieving everything we want to.

“Everyone gets their chance here. I played the first three months, then I had a little injury against Rangers in the semi-final. Stuart took his chance brilliantly. You

need to respect your team-mates and be happy when the team is winning. That’s what’s happened this season.

“The only conversation I had with the manager was to tell him that I want to stay, to show him that I deserve to play. I’m not a guy who says ‘OK, I’m not playing now, I want to leave’. That’s not me. If I leave I want to leave on a high. For now I don’t want to leave. If I wanted to leave I wouldn’t sign a new contract. I am happy.”