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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 10:46 GMT
Celtic pair poised for exit door
Derek Riordan
Riordan is a fans' favourite despite a lack of first team action
Celtic striker Derek Riordan and defender Bobo Balde have both expressed their desire to quit the club.

Riordan, a June 2006 signing from Hibernian, has struggled to feature in the first team under Gordon Strachan.

He said: "I have to see what happens in January but would rather go away and just concentrate on another club now."

And Balde, 32, added: "I don't want to be at a club where I am not wanted, but I want to make clear it is rubbish to say I am just taking the money."

Both players spoke of their frustration ahead of the Hoops' CIS Insurance Cup quarter-final tie against Hearts.

Riordan, 24, arrived from the Easter Road outfit for 125,000, but has only started 12 games in all competitions.

"I have scored enough goals in my time and I can't see what the reason is. It is down to the manager and he picks the team.

"I just want a chance. If you get one and don't take it then you can't complain," he explained.

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"I've not had a decent run of games and I will have to play as well as I can when I do get the chance.

"I couldn't tell you what the reason is. The manager says everything is fine with me and that I have to wait for my chance. I am behind Aiden McGeady and he has been playing well."

Balde was a mainstay of previous boss Martin O'Neill's regime, but has been frozen out by Strachan.

Bobo Balde
Balde arrived at Celtic from Toulouse in July 2001

The Guinean responded to his critics by saying: "I want to make it clear about the situation and the people who are talking rubbish about me.

"They think I am just here to pick up my money and not work hard, but I am working hard to be at my best.

"I have come back from a broken leg and pelvic injuries, so I am not just here to sit and pick up my money every week."

The defender was poised to move to Sunderland on a loan deal in January before the move broke down.

And he insists he will remain at Celtic Park on his terms if necessary.

"I will leave the way I want and not how Peter (Lawwell, chief executive) or other people want.

"I have been told that I am not in the top two defenders and that I am down to sixth on the list. The manager and Peter told me this.

"If you are not wanted, then you leave, but I have two years left on my contract and I will leave in the way that I want and when I want."



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