David Turnbull has opened up on the key Neil Lennon talks that led to him making a big impact at Celtic.
Turnbull was signed from Motherwell in the summer in a deal that could rise to £3.25m [BBC]. So far, he’s been worth every penny after breaking into the first-team back in December and cementing it ever since.
The Celtic star is best known for his superb shooting ability from outside the area and his willingness to get beyond the striker and make advancing runs from midfield. No surprises then that he already has eight goals and six assists in all competitions this season [Transfermarkt].
Lennon had been accused consistently of leaving it too late when it come to Turnbull’s introduction to the team. But the player himself had nothing but praise and thanks for his old gaffer. As quoted by the Glasgow Times, Turnbull highlighted the private chats he had with Neil:
“He was always great with me since I first came. After games he would take me into his office and give me wee tips here and there. How I could maybe do better and stuff like that.
“From the first moment, he said to me to shoot from distance. He encouraged me, he must have seen that from my Motherwell days. That is my game.
“I try to score as many goals as I can and create as many chances as I can. He was always stressing to be positive in terms of getting into position on the pitch to make things happen.”
Turnbull highlights Lennon influence; Celtic will reap major rewards from this deal
Contrary to how it may feel, not everything Lennon did this season was bad. Most of it was, but there were some good decisions that were made this year. Turnbull being signed was one of them.
In a way, Lennon has left Celtic with a fine present there. When the Hoops decide to do so, they’re going to make one almighty profit on the midfield talent.
But even though the one-to-one chats may have had an impact on Turnbull’s confidence, this wasn’t something he hadn’t been doing previously at Motherwell. Most of Turnbull’s goals at Fir Park came from either shooting from distance or advancing runs beyond the striker.
In other words, this is something the player was able to do from the word go. He should’ve been able to have made his impact felt at Celtic from day one. Waiting nearly half a campaign to introduce our best attacking midfielder is going to cost us dearly this season.
That’s just one of many poor decisions from the former manager that sees him out of a job. Even so, as delayed as his pushing of Turnbull was, in years to come we’ll be thanking Lennon for getting this one over the line.
It’s clear the player himself grateful to the Northern Irishman for his influence on him.