IT wasn’t only the platform to prove he could still cut it at the highest level that Neil Lennon gave to Albian Ajeti when he plucked the striker from the West Ham wilderness in the summer, but the belief to show it too. Now, it’s payback time.

The Swiss forward has flourished under Lennon so far, and despite taking some time to get fully up to match fitness after being deprived of regular first-team football for so long, he has already bagged five goals in 13 appearances for the club.

So, while the attractions of Celtic were numerous for Ajeti as he looked to get his career back on track, he is determined to now dig the man who ultimately brought him here out of a hole too by helping to steer his side’s season back on course.

“I didn’t just sign for Celtic just because of a good relationship with the manager,” Ajeti said. “But I came to Celtic because he was the man that I spoke to and he gave me the confidence and the chance to play again at the highest levels.

“I really appreciate that. It was very important for me to make this step and I want to pay Celtic and him back for their feelings to me.

“I will work 100 per cent to follow his tactics and to follow his good way of playing football.

“In that respect, I will do everything I can, while I will also at the same time to make myself better.

“That is the way of a good relationship, I think.”

Ajeti, like everyone at Celtic, acknowledges that the last three matches have proven to be chastening experiences, but while he may be relatively new to these parts, he was well aware of the scrutiny that signing for such a massive club would open him up to.

Inside the dressing room though, Ajeti says the huge expectations placed on them from the club’s worldwide supporter base make the players even more determined to deliver them success.

“I was at Basle before, but they are not as big a club as Celtic is,” he said.

“I know the pressures that are here game by game. There are fans all over the world who are watching for us to try and win every single game.

“People do know that you just cannot win every single game. It’s part of football and part of the game.

“What I can say is that the atmosphere within the dressing room is good.

“There no pressure amongst us in there, we have a very good vibe and that is the most important thing to be successful.

“This game [against Lille] is a chance to show the best way for Celtic again.

“I actually don’t spend that time outside on my phone looking at these things. I am actually just feeling comfortable and day by day better because I spend my time in the dressing room concentrating and working.”

As Ajeti references, the games don’t get any easier for Celtic, with a stiff test ahead tonight in France as Lennon’s men visit Lille on Europa League duty.

They have been boosted by the return to training of Odsonne Edouard, but just as Ajeti won’t be shirking from the fight on the pitch tonight if selected, he also won't be backing down from the challenge of keeping a regular place in the Celtic team.

“I like to have the players back,” he said. “It’s good to have that healthy competition because it can help all of us in the group and make all of us better.

“It’s good for the strikers to have that type of challenge and I really enjoy it.

“It makes the squad stronger and that makes the team better and it’s really important for all of us to have a good relationship together.

"There are going to be many games this season. There are going to be times when not everyone is available to play in the matches, so it’s going to take everyone making an effort.

“Everyone is going to be needed and everyone is going to have to play a part if we are to be successful.

“We are different types. That’s important going forward. It’s not useful to have four strikers who are all the same. It is useful for the manager and the team to have options in styles because not all of the games are the same.

“Some games need different types of players and we have qualities which mean you change the tactics, you can change the striker and it can work differently.

“I’m very much looking forward to the game. It’s another European game which we have prepared well for tactically and mentally. It’s going to be tough, but we are ready for it.

“I like [European competition]. It’s different from the matches that you have day to day. You travel and face different teams and it is something that is exciting.

“Lille are top of a good league at the moment and it is not going to be easy, but it’s going to be a good experience for a lot of us because these are the matches we want to face.

“I haven’t actually played in France before at club level, so that is something new for me.”