The Celtic stars backing up captain Callum McGregor in the dressing room as inside insight revealed


Callum McGregor calls the shots in the Celtic dressing room.

But the Parkhead skipper encourages key characters within the set-up to have a voice.

And, although he laughs at the fact he’s regarded as old guard at the age of just 24, Greg Taylor is happy to be one of those who speaks up.

The Scotland defender had a superb second-half of the season to help Ange Postecoglou’s troops win the title.

Taylor was a rock at left-back throughout the run-in with some of his best performances since signing from Kilmarnock having missed out on a chunk of the campaign prior to Christmas due to injury.

Postecoglou’s team did it as one. New faces settled into the group with the help of established stars such as McGregor, Tom Rogic, Nir Bitton and James Forrest.

Taylor was among those with previous experience of getting across the title line and the skipper himself has cited him as one of the leaders within the changing room.

McGregor is in charge, but Taylor explained: “I’m 24 years old and I’m classed as the old guard, so it is a bit bizarre!

“But I think it is a pressure and a responsibility that I have enjoyed this year being looked at as one of the more senior players.

“Hopefully, I can continue to do that. Try to help others and try to improve myself.

“I think his [McGregor’s] consistency over the last six or seven years has been pretty remarkable. The number of matches he churns out at a high level is top class.

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“We are good friends and we don’t hide that. But more importantly for the club he is a top-class player and a top-class captain.

“He is following one of the greatest captains in the club’s history in Broony and I think he is doing really well.

“He is the most vocal one and the one that leads us on.

“But, equally, there are five or six of us behind him that try to chip away and keep the group in line and keep doing what has brought us success. We will continue to do that.”

Of course, two of those key voices in Bitton and Rogic have now gone and their influence will have to be replaced.

Taylor admits it’s a blow to lose them and said: “It was sad, Tom was quite emotional. I have got the send-off I have served.

“He has been a great servant of the club. I have provided massive goals and massive performances.

“Nir just leads by example. Again, he’s one of the senior boys.

“He has been vice-captain this year and taken on a lot of responsibility and done really well. His last few performances of him have been top class.

“They will be two big misses around the place, but I’m sure they will do well wherever they end up next.”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 17: Greg Taylor of Celtic is challenged by Ola Solbakken of FK Bodoe/Glimt during the UEFA Europa Conference League Knockout Round Play-Off Leg One match between Celtic FC and FK Bodoe/Glimt at Celtic Park on February 17, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Celtic will, of course, find individuals to plug the gaps and push the standards.

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Major clubs cannot stand still and Postecoglou will go into the market again this summer to increase the quality and improve the squad.

Taylor will again be challenged for his position in the future with the manager likely to be hunting a left-back to offer competition and back up.

His outstanding recent efforts will make him hard to dislodge, but he said: “I think I have had a successful season, personally.

“But that only becomes possible with the collective. Everyone playing their small part in the team.

“If you all do that then you normally get decent success and I think we have done that this year.

“Whether it is the goalie, full-backs, midfielders, everyone has played their part and that is the reason that we have been successful together.

“It has been a roller-coaster. We probably had our downs at the start of the season and from there we have been pretty consistent. We have been on a successful run and that’s why we’re champions.”

Before all that, however, it’s time for a bit of respite for Taylor and his team-mates.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MARCH 24: Greg Taylor in action for Scotland during an International Friendly between Scotland and Poland at Hampden Park, on March 24, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group)

The defender is likely to be part of Steve Clarke’s set-up when the national coach names his selection for the June program of Scotland matches which include a World Cup play-off semi-final against Ukraine and a potential Final against Wales as well as Nations League encounters.

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But before he gets into the swing of the international scene, he’ll get another swing into operation and savor a period of relaxation.

Taylor said: “I still have to be picked, I never take it for granted. I’ll enjoy the next couple of weeks, maybe get away for a few days and then I’ll be ready to go for the Scotland games.

“It’s the same in every walk of life. Everyone looks forward to their holidays and we are no different just because we have the best job in the world.

“We’ll go away for a few days and play a wee bit of golf with my friends. Then I’ll be back and ready for Scotland. Hopefully I get picked and then it is another exciting period.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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