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‘IT’S NOT BEEN IDEAL,’ FORGOTTEN CELTIC ACE OPENS UP

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GREG TAYLOR hopes to get the opportunity to show Celtic fans his qualities against Kazahstan at Hampden tomorrow night.

The left-back, who has made only one appearances for the Hoops since his £2.25million switch from Kilmarnock on transfer deadline day, played a key role in Scotland’s 2-1 win over Cyprus in Nicosia at the weekend.

Taylor combined with club team-mate James Forrest to set up the winner for John McGinn after Ryan Christie had put the Scots ahead with his first goal for his country.

The win was the country’s second successive triumph in their Euro 2020 qualifying group following the 7-0 victory over San Marino in Glasgow last month.

The defender, who played under international boss Steve Clarke when they were both at Rugby Park, praised the gaffer as he attempts to guide Scotland to their first major tournament since the World Cup Finals in France in 1998.

Belgium and Russia have already eased through the section, but the Scots have the play-offs to look forward to in March and Taylor reckons Clarke is the man for the job.

The 22-year-old attacking full-back, speaking to the BBC, said: “He’s a top manager and the boys are starting, slowly but surely, to see that and winning games always helps.

“I worked with the gaffer for two years before he took the job and I can’t sing his praises high enough.”

Taylor was promoted to the team to earn his second cap against the Cypriots with skipper Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney both unavailable and he added: “In football, it’s about taking opportunities and, when you least expect it, you get them and, hopefully, I’ve done enough to keep my place for Tuesday and, beyond that.

“You keep a good base fitness. It’s important to do that regardless if you’re playing or not. I played against St Mirren a couple of weeks back, so it wasn’t all that long ago that I played.

“I know obviously it’s not been ideal – not playing as much as I’d have liked. But you’ve just got to be patient – it’s a massive team I’m at.”

Taylor hopes the win in Nicosia creates momentum as they prepare for the second chance afforded them by the Nations Cup.

He added: “That’s two on the bounce and, hopefully, we’ll go and get three and we’ll build for the play-offs in March.”

 

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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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