Rogic recalls the 'lonely hours'

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Socceroo Tom Rogic has recalled the “lonely hours” on his long road to recovery following his goal in his starting comeback for Celtic on Sunday.

The 22-year-old hadn’t started any competitive match since April last year, before netting in his first Celtic start in almost two years against Partick Thistle.

The goal marked a major breakthrough in Rogic’s fightback from long-term injuries, which has seen him progress significantly in pre-season.

“It was a long road and at times you get a bit negative,” Rogic told the club’s website.

“Everyone in the dressing room has been really positive and made the past year easier going in each day. The manager has given me a lot of confidence this season.

“I have been working really hard and there have been a lot of lonely hours in the gym. 

“I have had to keep pushing on and working, hoping the opportunities would come.”

Despite his breakthrough, Rogic refused to get carried away, acknowledging he was far from the finished product after his long-term groin and ankle issues.

“Obviously with missing some football, it’s work-in-progress for me in becoming fitter and stronger, and better for myself and the team,” he said.

“The manager has told me just to keep working and I will get a chance.”

Rogic could get another chance to impress when Celtic takes on Kilmarnock on Wednesday (4.45pm AEST).