RYAN Christie last night admitted he is hopeful his outstanding performance in the Betfred Cup semi-final win over Hearts helps him win a contract extension at Celtic.

Scotland internationalist Christie came on for Olivier Ntcham at half-time at Murrayfield yesterday after his French team mate suffered a hamstring injury.

The 23-year-old won a penalty that Scott Sinclair converted, set up James Forrest for the second goal and netted a spectacular third himself in the second-half.

The former Scottish Young Player of the Year has struggled to get a regular game since signing for the Parkhead club back in 2015 and has had loan spells at Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Aberdeen.

But the forward, who is out of contract in the summer, is optimistic his display can be a turning point for him at the Scottish champions - and persuades them to hand him a new deal.

“We’re still talking," he said. "I don’t know where it will go from here but we’ll see in a few weeks. I’m of course hopeful. I love playing for Celtic, I love being at this football club. I won’t be looking elsewhere until it’s sorted.”

Asked what the reaction of Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers had been to his showing after the match, Christie said: “He was pleased. I’ve just been trying to get that goal and hopefully I can push on from here.”

Asked if he was keen to use his performance as a stepping stone to a regular start, Christie said: “It’s what I’m looking to do, to make an impact when I get my chance.

“Looking forward, I’ve come to the realisation that I just need to take it game by game and do as well as I can every time I get a chance and see where it takes me. Obviously, I still feel I’ve got plenty of impact to make at Celtic and that’s what I’ll looking to do.

"It is hard to come in when you haven't been playing, but that is the pressure you need to deal with. You need to step up to that challenge and show everybody that when you get a rare chance you have to grab it with both hands.

"That is what I am looking to do from now until the end of the season."

Christie insisted referee Willie Collum had got the penalty call in the 53rd minute right despite protest from the Hearts players that Oliver Bozanic hadn't made contact with him.

“It was a stonewall penalty," he said. "I have just heard that there is a bit of back and forth about it. As far as I’m concerned I had it, I thought I had taken the ball by him and I am trying to stay up. I felt him and it was enough to put me off balance.

"Willie Collum was standing three yards away so it was hard for him not to give the decision.

“I saw a clip of it again. There was definitely contact. It is easy when you slow things right down to say it is minimal, but there was enough contact to force me to fall over. I don’t think there was any argument for me.”

Television replays showed that Christie's shot had crossed the Hearts goal line before Forrest pounced and fired beyond goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal.

But the susbtitute admitted he was unconcerned having rounded off the victory shortly afterwards with a sensational long-range strike into the top corner.

“I am going to give it to him since I managed to get one afterwards," he said. "Yeah, it was quite lucky that it felt out to him. Well played to him for following up the shot. He deserved a goal on the day as will. I was pleased for him.”