Postecoglou confirms 'struggling' Celtic defender bravely played through fitness issue vs Hibs

By Ben Evans

March 19, 2023

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has confirmed that defender Greg Taylor was playing through some sort of injury or fitness issue yesterday.

Celtic maintained their nine-point advantage at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a rousing 3-1 win over Hibernian. Ange spoke to the club’s official YouTube channel after the match and provided an injury update on his squad.

Celtic made a worrying start yesterday and went into the half-time break a goal behind. Hibernian were already down to ten men, but a penalty given away by Carl Starfelt was converted by Josh Campbell.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Jota equalised with a spot kick of his own minutes into the second-half, before Celtic scored two late goals. Hyeongyu Oh and Sead Haksabanovic came off the bench to seal an important win in the final minutes.

Celtic boss Ange has now shared that Taylor had to play through an injury for much of the game, in a brave performance. He managed to last until the hour mark before being replaced by Alexandro Bernabei.

Celtic manager Ange gives update on Taylor

Speaking about the full-back’s fitness, Ange said [Celtic YouTube]: “Greg was pretty much struggling for most of the game. Again, it’ll do him good to have a couple of weeks to recover.”

Reo Hatate didn’t fare as well as Taylor, being brought off after just 13 minutes yesterday – the manager didn’t have a firm prognosis on his recovery but is hopeful it’s not too serious. Meanwhile, Aaron Mooy didn’t even make the matchday squad after feeling pain in training recently – he is not expected to be out for long. The same goes for Tomoki Iwata, who was rested after straining his back in training at Lennoxtown.

Ange has relied heavily on Taylor in his Celtic defence, who has started the vast majority of games he’s been fit enough to feature in. Before the match, there were concerns about his availability, but he managed to prove he was fit enough to start.

Photo by Steve Christo – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

He wasn’t selected in the Scotland squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers, which is certainly a blessing now. Taylor was absent for the 3-1 win over Hearts last week too, and that may have played a part in Steve Clarke’s thinking. If he isn’t being subjected to mid-week to weekend action at Celtic, he clearly needs a bit of recovery.

The 25-year-old is going to be very important in the last couple of months of the season. The international break is arriving at the perfect time for him to get a break and refresh, something he noted himself on his own Instagram page.

In other news, Kenny Dalglish lauds ‘inspirational’ Celtic star.