Lennon had been keeping Celtic star Turnbull motivated with private discussions

By David Walton

December 29, 2020

David Turnbull has revealed that Celtic boss Neil Lennon hardly kept him out of the loop earlier in the season.

After signing in the summer from Motherwell, the midfielder hardly featured. Instead he had to watch on as Lennon consistently went with Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, and Olivier Ntcham in the engine room.

However, a staleness to that trio has opened up opportunities for Turnbull and Ismaila Soro respectively. Both have seized them as the manager continues to go with the new faces that have brought him five wins in-a-row.

But even when Turnbull was sidelined, Lennon hardly forgot about him. In fact, the midfield talent has stated that the manager was consistently pushing him on and giving him assurances in private discussions.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Turnbull said: “The gaffer’s been brilliant with me. When I wasn’t playing he was always talking to me.

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“He was telling me to bide my time and assuring me that my chance would come. He was right, he showed faith in me by putting me in and I really hope I’ve repaid that. I want to continue to do that and I’m grateful to him for putting me in.

“I had shown what I could do at Motherwell and started a lot of games there. So, I’m sure he knew it wasn’t a gamble or a brave decision to put me in — and I always believed I could make an impact.”

Turnbull and Soro are raising the standard at Celtic

It may sound silly, but Turnbull is now part of a fresh duo that has single-handedly raised the standard of quality at Celtic. The proof is in the results.

Celtic have won five consecutive matches for the first time since October. It’s no coincidence that the end of our slump has coincided with both Turnbull and Soro’s introduction into the side.

The Hoops have started bossing the engine room again. In previous matches, we were far too messy on the ball. In crunch games at Pittodrie and Easter Road, our midfield was getting overrun easily too. There were massive concerns for the supporters.

Celtic midfielder David Turnbull (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

But Turnbull has been given his chance at a time when there’s no room for error. That makes it even more impressive that he’s yet to have a bad day. If he does, the league title could be all but over.

Of course, many will point to Turnbull and Soro’s form as proof they should’ve been in earlier. This is a theory I personally agree with. Both men have been ready to make an impact for some time. It’s only since Lennon has come under severe pressure that he’s thrown them in.

It feels like a desperate move from the manager more than anything. But if it leads to a renaissance and eventually a 10-in-a-row win, nobody will be complaining.

In other news, these Celtic fans are once again paying some attention to this forgotten loan star.