DAVID TURNBULL is ready to stand and and be counted during Celtic season of turmoil.

The gifted midfielder’s debut campaign at the nine-in-a-row champions hasn’t quite worked out as anticipated when he agreed a £2.25million switch from Motherwell in the summer.

Turnbull wasn’t helped by coronavirus issues following international duty with the Scotland Under-21 squad that forced him into quarantine. There was also a niggling injury and he had to wait until the October 4 meeting with St Johnstone in Perth for his first start.

He struggled to make a first impression and was hooked in the 59th minute to make way for Ryan Christie. The Hoops were way off the pace in Perth and it took the introduction of two more substitutes to turn the game in their favour with Leigh Griffiths heading in the opener in the 90th minute and Patryk Klimala hammering in No.2 deep in stoppage time.

Turnbull, though, did provide the answers when he was given the nod by Neil Lennon to face Lille in the meaningless Europa League Group H encounter in Glasgow when he got on the scoresheet in the 3-2 victory.

That triumph marked the arrival of Turnbull -and Ismaila Soro – as the Hoops desperate sought enthusiasm and energy at a crucial stage in the campaign.

However, while the newcomers rolled up their sleeves, their more experienced team-mates were either unwilling or incapable to deal with the ferocious challenges that are coming thick and fast,

An exasperated Lennon revealed he feels lets down by some of his players after their awful performance against St Mirren in the visitor’s well-merited 2-1 success at Parkhead on Saturday.

But Turnbull would have been omitted from the disappointed Irishman’s wrath.

The 21-year-old playmaker, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I try to take the responsibility on my own shoulders. I want to do my best every time I am on the pitch.

“Whether that’s creating chances or scoring goals, I always want to drive the team on.

“I wouldn’t even say that’s taking responsibility – it’s just what I need to do for the team.

“That’s why I was brought here.”

He added: “But we do owe the manager to pick this up. We try to do it every week – to keep fighting. That’s what the boys are trying to do.

“We know it’s difficult with the league, but we have to play for pride. If there’s no pride there then there’s no point in even playing football.

“We need to keep trying and keeping pushing, to play as a team. We need to stick together and hopefully everyone does that.

“Has confidence taken a battering? Yeah, I would say so. Personally, it’s tough going in to games at the moment.

“It’s hard to keep yourselves going when you are going behind and you know you need to get it back.

“But we need to get that out of our heads. We need to keep pushing and make sure we play better, simple as that.”


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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