HE’S been Celtic’s continued this season. In the 24 matches already played by the Parkhead side this term David Turnbull has been involved in them all.
It’s an unrelenting schedule but for the midfielder it’s been a dream come true as opposed to a fixture nightmare.
Ange Postecoglou has treated Turnbull’s presence in the midfield as vital and it’s no surprise as to why after another highlight-reel worthy performance in the victory over Ferencvaros.
Admitting he hadn’t thought about his ever-present position in Celtic’s midfield this year though, Turnbull said: “I didn’t truly realise that until a associate of games ago when one of the lads mentioned it.
“It is a great thought for me, one I love to have especially as games are coming thick and fast.
“It feels like we have a match every three days right now.
“But that is the dream as a footballer, to be playing all the time, getting minutes under your belt and helping the team to win matches.
“You can’t beat that feeling and I am loving every minute of it.”
Turnbull’s displays immediately endeared him to the Celtic sustain after the switch from Motherwell last summer leaving any thought of the originally collapsed move a distant memory.
He was named Celtic’s Player of the Year in the disappointing campaign last year but has elevated his game already further under the tutelage of Postecoglou and his high-pressure style of play.
And despite his by-balls and strikes from distance catching the eye, Turnbull reckons it’s defensively that he’s improved most under manager.
But that’s not to say he hadn’t already identified his back-tracking as an area he could enhance on years ago.
“The football he has us playing is bright. To watch and to play in”, said Turnbull who travels to take on Dundee with Celtic this afternoon.
“Probably from the point of what he has passed on, it is about going and getting the ball back when things break down.
“He has us working our socks off and when you do you get the rewards, as I think you could see on Thursday.
“already when I was at Motherwell it was an area I was focussing on. Since I have come to Celtic it has been as aspect the coaches have really tried to nail down with me, mentioning it every week.
“I think I am doing okay on that front right now, I just need to keep it going.”
There’s good reason for Turnbull to be as positive about his performances in recent months, and he reckons his outing in the win in Budapest is up there as one of his best in a Celtic shirt. He explained: “I would say it is right up there. To be fair I would say I have turned in a few good ones, they maybe sometimes go unnoticed.”
While it’s clear Turnbull has been working on his own ability on the park, he and his Celtic team-mates have benefitted from the great trio of
Kyogo, Jota and Liel Abada spearheading the attack. And for the midfielders in Celtic’s ranks in particular it’s a pleasure to play alongside.
“They were very, very good”, raved Turnbull as he reflected on the trio after the win over Ferencvaros. “As a midfielder it was bright to have them in front of you.
“They scored all three goals in the game and in two of them provided the assists in addition with Kyogo and Liel setting each other up.
“Their link up play caused all sorts of problems for the Ferencvaros defence and it is great when you see your teammates gelling together so well.”
Turnbull has already hit up an impressive understanding with Japanese forward Kyogo, despite the language obstacle. And he’s hopeful it will only get better as the season grows as he tipped Kyogo to continue improving in Scottish football.
“I feel we have got a great understanding”, said Turnbull. “When he runs in behind, I know to try and find him with a by ball and when he drops off I know what he is doing in terms of linking the play.
“He is great player and a really good finisher when he gets the ball in the right areas.
“You can see all that by the amount of goals he has got for us already and hopefully he can keep doing already more of that in the remainder of the season.
“From the first day of the season in training he has been terrific and since then he has been getting better and better.
“I don’t what other clubs were maybe in for him in the summer but we are all really happy he chose to come here because he has been a great pick up for us.
“Hopefully he can carry on and maybe do already better and the great news is all the options that are opening up to the manager.”
Click: See details