DAVID TURNBULL enjoyed his first goal for Celtic and his first-team breakthrough in the Hoops’ exciting 3-2 victory over Lille in the Europa League Group H at parkhead last night.

The smooth midfield operator now has a twin target as he zeroes in on remaining in Neil Lennon’s thoughts while hoping to catch the eye of Scotland boss Steve Clarke ahead of next summer’s European Championships.

Turnbull was part of the Under-21s that missed out on qualification for their event after losing their final group match against Greece last month.

But Turnbull could be a late tip for the top squad if he can hit a regular run of form with the nine-in-a-row champions after his match winning performance against the French high-flyers where he hit the crucial third goal to follow first-half efforts from Christopher Jullien and Callum McGregor, with a penalty-kick.

Asked about the possibility of gatecrashing Clarke’s squad, the 21-year-old ace, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I don’t see why not. I’ll just push as hard as I can and try to get the games under my belt. Hopefully, I have shown what I can do and continue do it in more games.

“You never know what can happen.”

Turnbull certainly know what he is talking about. He became an overnight sensation at Celtic last night – almost four months after  joining the club in a £2.5million switch from Motherwell.

After four defeats against AC Milan and Sparta Prague, hammered home and away by the Italians and Czechs, and a draw in France, the curtain came down in a rousing performance against the French aces who went into this game with a record of just one loss this season.

However, Turnbull took centre stage with a superb performance that had manager Lennon purring at the end of an eventful evening in the east end of Glasgow.

And the display has almost certainly gained the former Fir Park prospect a starting place in the line-up for the visit of Kilmarnock on Sunday.

He was involved in the earlier goals for Jullien and McGregor before he claimed what turned out to be the winner 15 minutes from time.

Turnbull admitted: “The goal means everything for me and my family.

“I was delighted to get the start and I just wanted to play as well as possible. To top it off with a goal, I’m buzzing. It feels amazing to score, assist and play a part in the other goal.

“The boys wanted to help the club out in a sticky period and I am sure we will kick on now. We just need to keep it going.

“Hopefully, it’s a turning point and it gives us momentum going into Sunday. We want to perform well and get the result. You never know what can happen.

“It’s been tough on the bench, but you just need to work hard and do your best when you come in.

“You need to trust the process, bide your time and the chance will come. I am 100 per cent fit. I am back from the Covid and I feel sharper every day.

“I feel like I can kick on now. I feel as if I played well tonight and every game I go into I try to do the same – create chances and score goals for the team.

“It’s obviously a huge result off the back of the last few weeks. And against a great side in Europe it’s going to help any team going into the weekend.

“It’s a massive win for us and we just have to take that into Sunday.”


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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