Greg Taylor reckons defensive duo Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt are unsung Celtic heroes.
The centre-backs have been a rock on which Ange Postecoglou’s side have built their domestic success so far this term.
Along with keeper Joe Hart, the trio of new faces have been crucial in churning out strong performances as Celtic sit top of the Premiership with eight games to go.
Many of Postecoglou’s signings have been lauded for their outstanding contributions with attackers grabbing the majority of the headlines.
However, with just 18 goals granted in 30 top-flight matches so far in this campaign, the backline is also playing its part.
Full-back Taylor said: “I would agree they have been unsung heroes. The two guys at the back have been really good. Not only in our defending but in the build-up phase, they’ve helped us a lot.
“It’s not easy to play the way the manager wants but they have taken it no problem.
“They have collected a lot of clean sheets and hopefully that can continue for the rest of the season.
“We didn’t have a shot against us in the games with Hibs and St Mirren and that says it all.
“You look at Cameron and Carl, with Joe as well. But I know they’d say it starts with the strikers and wingers. All season the defenders have been grateful to these guys as they give themselves to the team in every game.
“They do a power of grafting and the manager has said if the front players can do that, they’ll reap the rewards with the goals and assists.
“It takes a lot of work so we are grateful to them.”
Carter-Vickers has become a Player of the Year contender and Taylor reckons the on-loan Spurs man lets his game do the talking.
He said: “Cameron has been outstanding on the pitch, while away from it he’s really quiet. He’s even quieter than the gaffer!
“I try to steer clear of him in training, mind you. He’s some size and he’s quick as well. He’s got all the tools and he has used them this year.
“He goes about his business, he trains and works hard. He’s not a shouter and bawler, he just goes about his business quietly.
“I do know he’s absolutely desperate to do well here. He’s desperate to win. You can tell.
“He takes a huge pride in not conceding a goal. If he does, he’s so determined it doesn’t happen again.
“Him and Carl have been a huge part of the reason we’ve been successful so far this season.”
As well as having the meanest defensive record in the Premiership, Celtic are also top scorers with 65 at an average of over two a game.
Kyogo Furuhashi is top scorer with 16 across all competitions despite being on the injured list, with the goals shared around. Liel Abada has bagged 14 and Daizen Maeda netted his fifth against Livingston on Sunday.
Jota was not on the scoresheet at the Tony Macaroni Arena but he was again a creative influence and Taylor said: “It’s only a few weeks ago he scored two hugely important goals at Aberdeen to get us three points on a tough night.
“Jota has been outstanding this season. It’s not surprising because he’s a top pro.
“He reaps his own rewards because away from the pitch he’s always working hard to get better. You can see why he’s been so good for us and hopefully he can continue that until the end of the season.
“He’s a big player for us. He’s one of the ones it doesn’t matter if he’s quiet as it only takes him a second to turn a game.
“We’ve got a lot of those kinds of players and it would be unfair to say it’s just him we rely on for that kind of thing. We have James (Forrest), Abada, Mikey Johnston, (Giorgos) Giakoumakis, Maeda and others.
“Kyogo set the bar really high with the way he started. He has been unbelievable and we can’t wait to have him back.
“But Daizen has done really well for us. A lot of his work goes unnoticed. The way he presses and creates chances out of nothing is a midfielder and defender’s dream. All of us in the building are grateful to have him.
“Daizen has already played a full season and his work rate is unbelievable.
“All of the lads work their socks off to be fair but Daizen is just a cut above the rest. It’s second to none.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.