'Big boost' - Celtic star's long-awaited return 'brings everyone up to a better level'

David Turnbull's introduction as a late substitute in the 4-0 win over Ross County drew one of the loudest cheers of an afternoon where Celtic extended their unbeaten domestic run to 31 matches.

The midfielder's 74th minute arrival marked his long-awaited comeback following three months out with a hamstring tear picked up in the Premier Sports Cup final win over Hibs in December.

Having been a virtual ever-present across the first half of the campaign, the 22-year-old now returns to find increased competition in the midfield area provided by January acquisitions Reo Hatate and Matt O'Riley.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But with nine goals and seven assists across his 37 appearances this season prior to his injury, an attacking contribution only bettered by Kyogo Furuhashi at the club, his return could prove a timely one for Celtic in the title run-in.

Celtic's David Turnbull (left) and Greg Taylor applaud the fans after the 4-0 win over Ross County. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)Celtic's David Turnbull (left) and Greg Taylor applaud the fans after the 4-0 win over Ross County. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Celtic's David Turnbull (left) and Greg Taylor applaud the fans after the 4-0 win over Ross County. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

That is certainly the assessment of his Scotland team-mate Greg Taylor.

"It’s another big boost to have David back," said the Celtic left-back. "He’s a goal threat from midfield, we’re incredibly strong in there.

"But that’s what you want because it brings everyone up to a better level.

"Hopefully David can go on and contribute the way he was at the start of the season.

"He’s a good friend of mine as well so I try and keep his spirits high when he was down and he’s reacted really well and put in the work.

"He deserves everything he gets. We knew each other from the 21s briefly but once you become club team-mates you get that wee bit closer and he’s a top player and a top friend.

"I’m sure having a full Celtic Park to come back to, it’s been a long hard road but that’s why you do the work in your rehab.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I was really pleased for him as all the lads were. It was a nice game for him to come on."

The win over Ross County ensured Celtic maintained their three-point lead over Rangers, who restored the status quo with a 2-1 success at Dundee on Sunday.

The Hoops effectively secured victory inside the opening 26 minutes after Daizen Maeda put the home side 3-0 up after Giorgos Giakoumakis’ early double. A red card for Kayne Ramsay for a lunge on Tom Rogic added to County's woes before Giakoumakis complete his hat-trick with a second-half penalty.

"We just try to aim to get stronger every performance," Taylor added. "We go out and aim to play our football and we did that against Ross County.

"The gaffer has said that throughout, that we’d aim to get stronger as we go. Each game we try to improve.

"We’ve got a strong squad and everyone is itching to play and contribute when they get on the field.

"We enjoy every time [we play]. We’ve got a philosophy and a way of playing.

"The solutions are out there if we continue to do that but the start has to be working hard.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We did that from the off and we’ve been doing that throughout the season.

"The gaffer’s a big one for the work throughout the week is the reason we perform how we do on the weekend.

"As long as we can keep the training standards high that’ll be important till the end of the season."

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.