Celtic midfielder David Turnbull responds to criticism of away form

By Euan Davidson

September 22, 2021

Celtic star David Turnbull has responded to criticism of the club’s away form this season.

The Bhoys have struggled on the road, losing to Hearts, Rangers and Livingston domestically.

Meanwhile in Europe, the Hoops surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 4-3 against Real Betis, albeit in testing conditions with many players missing.

It’s led to some amount of hyperbole about the club’s early form in general, and even about the manager. However, with just 6 domestic games played [BBC], the ex-Motherwell midfielder is keeping things in perspective.

Asked about the difference in performances between home and away games, Turnbull said [Celtic FC]:

“The last game we played away, in the Europa League against Betis, they were a great side, and I felt we kind of outplayed them. It was just a few wee moments in the game that kind of killed us.

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“Sunday was a tough one, we know we weren’t good enough on the day. It’s just about putting that right.

“But I wouldn’t say at the moment we’re playing too badly. It’s about stepping up these kind of performances, and getting them won at the end of the game.”

Celtic star David Turnbull expecting improvement but gives strong defence

Fine, the away form is concerning. However, reminding the players and the manager of unfortunate runs of form, or seeing criticism of their performances can’t help a great deal.

Whether it’s a mental block or something else, Ange Postecoglou has had to deal with unusual circumstances at every turn this season. Helping the club achieve some more positive results on the road will be a challenge that the manager embraces.

So, too, will David Turnbull. Because in reality, Celtic aren’t playing too badly. They’re creating more than enough opportunities, dominating possession and passing the ball for fun.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Against Livi, for example, Celtic had an xG of 0.91, creating 15 chances and passing the ball successfully 497 more times than the opposition [FotMob]. It’s just that all that play came to nothing.

Confidence in taking chances is what’s vital, here. Getting on the team’s back over what’s been before isn’t going to help at all.

It’s not the media’s job to encourage Celtic, of course, and they’re more than entitled to ask questions. But this isn’t some insurmountable challenge for Celtic. It’s an obstacle, and it’s one the team are well-equipped to overcome.

In other news: Report: Celtic target Jed Wallace unlikely to sign new Millwall contract