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Robson right back where he started; COUNTDOWN TO KICK-OFF.

Byline: By MICHAEL BAILLIE

BARRY ROBSON scored with his first touch for Celtic, scored on his Champions League debut, netted a priceless Old Firm winner and played a key role in the finalday title triumph.

His Parkhead move could not have gone better following his pounds 1m January switch from Dundee United.

The midfielder, however, revealed his past achievements count for nothing and the 29-year-old knows his success doesn't guarantee him a starting slot when the SPL kicks-off.

Robson said: "I don't see myself as a first choice. I feel as though I am at the bottom of the ladder again and I need to climb it. That's the way I approach every season.

"I need to prove every day in training that I'm worthy of a place and worthy of starting as there are four or five players who are outstanding footballers that can play in there.

"I don't think I've achieved everything and I don't take anything for granted.

"I don't know how anyone else thinks but that's just the way I am. I feel as though every time I play I've got something to prove.

"Even if I have a good game what does it matter because if you play the next week and are not so good then people remember that.

"For me I just take each day as it comes and try to force my way into the side.

"I have a fear of failure. I don't want to fail in anything I do.

"Everyone is probably like that in the club because we don't want to do badly because if you do then you won't be in the side."

Robson does not allow himself to dwell on past successes - once a game is out of the way he is already preparing himself a new challenge.

He added: "I don't get the chance to enjoy good performances.

You do enjoy the game to a certain extent and when I play well I'm happy especially if we've won the game.

"Then I'll analyse what I've done and if I've had a good game.

But as soon as I come back in on the Monday morning it's here we go again, let's build up and try again.

"You can't get carried away with things, you need to stay focused and when you win the last game you get a big relief.

"From a personal point of view I could improve some of my performances. I've got a lot to learn as a football player and the manager (Gordon Strachan) drills that into me every day.

"He speaks to me quite a lot on the training park and I'm never one to think about what I've achieved as I know I've got to achieve more.

"It's all about learning and trying to improve every aspect of my game. I think there is improvement to come."

While Celtic have only added Pat McCourt to their championship winning squad, Robson is not concerned by the lack of transfer activity.

"We're really strong at the moment. We won the league with what we've got and if we strengthen, that'll be good.

"You take in as many players as you can when you're at a club like this. The stronger we are the better and the more players who are fighting for places, the better.

"We showed last year how big our squad was. Scott Brown was excellent through the first half of the season, Paul Hartley came in and did really well, Massimo came out the traps flying at the start of the season.

"So every player contributed at some stage and that's why we won the league."

CAPTION(S):

NEW BEGINNING Barry Robson helps Celtic donate pounds 25,000 to Marie Curie Cancer Care yesterday. He is back in training and wants to impress Gordon Strachan (below) to stake a first-team claim
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 12, 2008
Words:642
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