GREG TAYLOR is standing by to make only his second start for Celtic against Rennes in the Europa League Group E confrontation at Parkhead this evening.

The 22-year-old Scotland international defender arrived in a £2.25million switch from Kilmarnock on transfer deadline day, but has had to be patient as he attempts to break into Neil Lennon’s first team.

Taylor made his debut earlier this month in the 2-0 win over St Mirren and he came on as a second-half substitute for crocked Jonny Hayes in the 4-0 romp against Livingston at Parkhead on Saturday.

Despite his rare forays in the top side, the pacy left-back, who is likely to get the nod to face the Frenchmen with the Republic of Ireland versatile star and Boli Boliwill both injured, insists he has IMPROVED since arriving at the champions on September 2.

SCOTLAND THE RAVE…Greg Taylor congratulates Steven Naismith after his goal against Kazakhstan.

Taylor, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “I feel like I am a better player since I joined Celtic, 100 per cent. When you come to a club the size of Celtic you do improve because you are playing and training with better players.

“There’s no secret in that. You’re training at a higher standard every day, so you can only get better. To get a few games at international level is another level above and, hopefully, I can continue that by playing in the Europa League.

“It’s been different, that’s right to say. But it’s very rare for someone to walk straight into the Celtic team. They are used to winning every week.

“Of course, every player wants to come into a new club and play every minute. But there’s a settling-in process and the two months I have been out the team will probably benefit me in the long run.

“I’m now up to speed, I understand the way of playing and, hopefully, now I’m ready to take my chance and become a regular.”

Taylor helped to maintain his match fitness by turning out in Scotland’s recent Euro 2020 campaign wins over Cyprus (2-1) and Kazakhstan (3-1). He set up goals for John McGinn in both games and was unfortunate not to open his Celtic account at the weekend with a shot that clattered off the Livi post and rebounded to safety.



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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