Defiant Ryan Christie insists he shut out criticism that he was leaving Celtic for a “small club” in the summer.
The Scotland cap signed for EFL Championship side Bournemouth in a move that raised eyebrows north of the border.
Pundits had claimed it was a money based on finances rather than the size of the club, but Christie insists he has always wanted to play in England.
When asked by The Times if he had heard the criticism of leaving Celtic for Bournemouth was a step down, he said: “Yes, I heard a bit of that.
“But having played for Celtic for a few years, you learn to ignore quite a few comments that are made.
“The decision to leave Celtic and come here was made over a period of time, and I knew deep down that it was the right decision.
“Every time I sat down last year with my family and my girlfriend we knew this was what I wanted to do: come to England.
“And once I came down here last summer, and joined the team and started playing, I knew I’d made the correct decision. That immediately put me at ease and I’ve been enjoying it ever since.”
With Bournemouth battling at the top of the Championship with eyes on a English Premier League return, Christie is convinced he made the right call.
He reckons he has only improved as a player since trading the Scottish Premiership for the English second tier.
The forward continued: “I’m playing in a much more competitive league, I would say.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a league before where literally all the teams can beat each other. The gap from the top to the bottom is not as big as you’d expect, and it’s ultra-competitive.
“It is also very physically demanding, which I’ve noticed in some of the games.
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“But I think I’ve come here at a right age when I’m a bit more grown up and a bit more adult to deal with that. The other side of that is, because every other team comes to our ground bringing their own danger and attacking threat, you need to be so switched on in and out of possession.
“Playing for Celtic at Celtic Park, you felt it was only a matter of time before you scored, and sometimes the team you were playing didn’t offer a threat the whole game.
“But in this league you have to be far more aware off the ball, and that’s actually a part I enjoy. Scott Parker is also so good in the way he sets us up, with so much detail going into each game.”