GARY HOLT has every sympathy for Ryan Christie following the online abuse the Celtic attacker was subjected to following his red card against Livingston.

But the Lions manager believes players are going to have to accept that the ‘brutal’ nature of social media is now an unfortunate part of modern-day football life.

Christie deactivated his Twitter account in the wake of his sending off for a straight-leg challenge on Scott Robinson in the recent 2-0 defeat to Livingston.

The Scotland internationalist was the target for online trolls who singled him out following the loss that cost the Hoops top spot in the Premiership.

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Holt is a huge fan of Christie and insists there is no justification for the abuse.

However, the Livi boss reckons footballers will have to learn to cope with the insults they now face away from the pitch as the problem is showing no signs of going away.

He said: “I’ve got social media. Do I use it? Not really. Very rarely do I write anything.

“But it’s the nature of the beast we’re in. That’s what you’ve got to accept when you agree to sign up to these things. You’re going to get that. Not everybody is going to blow smoke up your backside.

“Do I agree with that [the Christie abuse]? No, I don’t, I think it’s totally unjust.

“As I said at the time, Ryan’s a young lad learning the game, with massive potential, a star in the making, if not so already.
“He had a mistimed tackle and he’s getting castigated for it.

“It’s totally changed now, you can’t do anything [away from football]. I still do, because it doesn’t bother me, and I’ll give as good as I get.

“But I don’t take myself too seriously, to an extent. Maybe that’s what helps me.

“Me? I’m just a dad, a dad with weans who say I’m rubbish. It keeps things in reality for me.

“Social media, it’s there, it’s not going to go away now. There’s people who have signed up for it and made it a big platform, and it’s the way the world’s going.

“So, if you don’t want to be open to getting severe abuse, which I don’t think you’d merit, don’t sign up for it.

“But it’s brutal, and people don’t understand the effect it has.”

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Holt’s biggest concern is his own children reading any abuse that gets directed at him.

However, he has also revealed the ‘banter’ his youngest son, Zak, has been getting at school in Kilmarnock this week has also had a positive effect on him ahead of tomorrow's trip to Rugby Park.

He added: “My youngest is 10 and goes to school in Kilmarnock, where I live. He’s desperate for us to win on Saturday, desperate.
“I don’t see that, but it’s when he sits down and has a chat with you and explains why the players have got to be up for it, that this is the game they’ve got to win. Then you think, hang on a minute.

“It’s just a bit of banter he gets at school. But he’s 10 and how does he deal with it?

“That’s the thing that sometimes you don’t see when you’re involved in football all the time. You don’t see the effect it has on others.

“It’s too easy to sit and say ‘your dad’s rubbish, he’s the worst manager in the world’ and things like that.

“He doesn’t know how to deal with that, but I’m trying to edcuate him that I’m going to lose games and I’m going to lose my job at some point, whenever that may be.

“But normal people in everyday life lose their jobs, and it’s how you react to it.”