Greg Taylor on ‘insane amounts’ of improvement and the manager’s mantra | OneFootball

Greg Taylor on ‘insane amounts’ of improvement and the manager’s mantra

Logo: The Celtic Star

The Celtic Star

Greg Taylor is perhaps the most improved player from the crop that Ange Postecoglou inherited last summer and in that time the left-back has gone from a regular whipping Bhoy of the more critical element within the online Celtic support to a firm fans favourite. And there can be no doubt that even his hardest critics must recognise that Taylor has been transformed by the Celtic manager and deserves all the credit that is currently coming his way.

The Celtic left-back, who has been excellent in both Scottish Premiership matches this season against Aberdeen and Ross County has been speaking to Gerry McCulloch on Celtic TV,  with the interview currently being available to subscribers only. It will pop up later in the week on the club’s thriving You Tube channel.

McCulloch started by mentioning the unusually beautiful weather up at Lennoxtown today. “Exactly, it’s a nice day. It’s fitting that we are on the astro as we are going to Rugby Park this week, so we’re ready for the game,” Taylor said.

Greg Taylor and Stephen Welsh, Celtic against Aberdeen on flag day.(Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

On playing on that artificial pitch at Rugby Park, Taylor will have no issues with that as he’s a former Kilmarnock player so is well used to it, and he sees no real problem for his current teammates adapting to the surface on Sunday in the lunchtime kick-off.  “We”ll just prepare the way we always do, train hard this week, it’s another good week’s break between the games so a good chance to get work into the legs of the Bhoys who have been playing and not so we are all ready as aa group for the game on Sunday.”

Asked about how much his game has progressed since making the move to Celtic from Kilmarnock, Taylor was very clear in his response. “Yeah, insane amounts to be honest, just from the amount that I have learned. from the moment I signed to this day. Every day we try and get better – it’s a mantra of the manager, don’t ever waste a minute of a training session or a game, so  I try to continue to do that and try to improve every day.

Gerry McCulloch wanted to know what it’s like playing the position that the manager played in when he was a player. “It’s no different I don’t think. The gaffer has a system in place that we all try to follow. We all have a small part to play within that and if we all do that and give ourselves to the team, we can all be relatively successful.

David Turnbull of Celtic celebrates with Stephen Welsh and Greg Taylor after scoring their side’s sixth goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Mirren FC at Celtic Park on August 21, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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On a feature of Taylor’s game, breaking up the play high up the park, which of course led to the third Celtic goal at Dingwall on Saturday afternoon, Taylor said: “That’s part of the reason we are put in these positions is not only to stop other team’s attacks but to create our own at the same time. That was a feature of the third goal (at Dingwall) but with players like Liel (Abada) and Jota, it does make it considerably easier.”

On enjoying playing up in Dingwall: “I don’t know if I enjoyed it on Saturday. It was a bit of a battle. As a team we had good control within the game, we were the team in the ascendancy and we were the team trying to play our football, Ross County were trying to stop us.

On big Mercedes Jenz getting his goal on his first start for the club: “The big man has settled in really well and I thought he had a great performance on Saturday and topped it off with a goal, so he can be delighted with himself. It was an important time in the match and it was a big reason we left there with three points.”

On special memories for Taylor going back to Rugby Park this Sunday: “Yeah, definitely. It was an important stage in my career and I’m very grateful to the managers who gave me a chance there and I would like to think that I’e repaid their faith in me. It was a successful period when I was there but I’m now looking forward to going back as a Celtic player aiming to get the three points.”

On the extended pre-season without the hurdles of European qualifiers to face, Taylor was like everyone else at the club, convinced of the enormous benefits this will bring. “It makes such a difference having an extended break then going into a clean run of pre-season games and training, getting to improve on what we were last year, also work on our fitness for the new season, so it was a really productive period and hopefully it will stand us in good stead not just for now but right throughout the season.”

On keeping the winning run going ahead of the Champions League getting underway: “Winning is the best feeling in the world. We don’t want to lose that feeling. We want to do it with our football, that’s important. We’ve got a way of playing and a way we like to express ourselves and it’s important to express ourselves and win, it can’t be one or the other, it has to be both. So that’s what we aim to do, we’ll take one game at a time and when the Champions League games come around it will be exciting times.”

On the considerable amount of praise Taylor is getting from Celtic fans these days, Gerry McCulloch wanted to know of the Celtic left-back notices that.  “You do notice it. Whether you try to avoid it or not people send you good or bad. It’s an unfortunate – or fortunate – thing of living in Scotland and Glasgow. So it’s nice when things are going well and getting all these plaudits, it means a lot, of course but you can’t really let it affect you either way. Just keep the focus on what you are doing and what the manager wants for you and pretty much throughout my Celtic career that’s what I’ve tried to do.”

Here’s what Ange Postecoglou said last week when asked about Greg Taylor at his Media Conference…

“Left-back is the most overrated position on the field! That’s why I am trying to eliminate full-back from the line-up with the way we play. Greg is nothing like me. He is a much better player than I ever was.

“I was a frustrated left winger, and I am much happier seeing him play the way he is. I wasn’t inverted. I just used to just take off down the wing and leave my defensive duties. The way we play is a little bit different but he’s really adapted to it and it shows now, he’s started off where he left last season.

“He wants to get better, wants to improve and learn and that’s the most pleasing thing for me. He’s really developing and there’s more to come.”

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