The opportunity that motivated Celtic left-back Greg Taylor through injury woes

By Euan Davidson

December 8, 2021

Celtic left-back Greg Taylor has revealed his biggest motivation for getting through an injury set-back; the Premier Sports Cup Final.

The Hoops play Hibs on the 19th of December, in the first domestic final for Ange Postecoglou and many of his Celtic players. Of course, the final represents a real opportunity for this young Bhoys side, and the galvanising effect of a cup win has helped Celtic in many previous campaigns.

Taylor had to sit out the 2019 final, a Celtic win over Rangers, and he’s never been able to compete in the competition’s showpiece event. Battling with a serious shoulder injury, the win over St Johnstone in the semi gave Taylor the extra motivation he needed.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Taylor said [Herald]:

“I’ll be honest, the prospect of a cup final was in my mind during the whole rehab period. And when we beat St Johnstone to get there, I was desperate to accelerate things.

“I would love to be involved as I have never played in the League Cup final, I missed the final against Rangers in 2019 because I was cup-tied with Kilmarnock.

“[Eventually] I did manage to play in the Scottish Cup final last year, but it would be nice to play against Hibs.”

Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues

BridTV
7108
Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues
916206
916206
center
UCqUPn73T2WxGyzCdtLe8m7g
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)
https://yt3.ggpht.com/ytc/AAUvwng3RIc-bAXurA5yt1Vj63uuVOBD1RQ9n6j_XKhD=s800-c-k-c0x00ffffff-no-rj
15596

Greg Taylor, a player many fans still have doubts over, could be crucial to Ange Postecoglou and Celtic

Let’s not get this distorted; obviously Greg Taylor wanted to shift his shoulder injury and get back playing regardless of the occasion. But he wouldn’t be human if a chance to play in a Cup Final didn’t motivate him.

It’s the kind of event you sign for Celtic to play. The lure of silverware is a huge one for prospective Hoops signings. That’s true whether you’re Greg Taylor or Kyogo Furuhashi.

It’s massive. And this League Cup has particular significance. The players universally seem behind Ange Postecoglou, and are determined for his brand of football to yield trophies. With one game in two weeks’ time, it could be just that.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Celtic defender Taylor, for his part, is a key cog of how Postecoglou sets his team up. His ideal left-back is able to get up and down the flank, but perhaps more importantly come inside and offer support. Jota or Mikey Johnston don’t necessarily need an overlap. Instead, an option deeper into the pitch is the ideal.

The former Killie man can do that. Early in the season, he adapted extremely well to Postecoglou’s demands. Tidy in the pass, determined to rush back if called upon, he’s a good player. He’s not nearly as glamorous as some of the talents brought into the club this year, but he’s equipped for what Ange needs.

There was plenty of proof of that on Sunday. Greg Taylor got on the ball on the left, yes, but also into more central positions around the centre-circle. There were even times he drifted right-wards, provided that was what was needed.

The effort is there, and the ability is there. Now he’s back from injury, Taylor could be a really important player for Celtic. And a Cup Final is all the motivation he needs.

Read more: Celtic board twitched into life over Hearts claims but fans need much more