GREG TAYLOR is making all the right noises as he looks to use the Dubai training camp as a platform to get more game time in the second half of the season.

The left-back was brought into the club this summer from Kilmarnock but hasn’t seen much game time. Boli Bolingoli being preferred to the Scottish international, and even Jonny Hayes has been played in the left-back position instead of Taylor.

Coming in on the final day of the window, there was no time for a pre-season with Celtic and the defender just slotted into training at Lennoxtown. The winter break has given the defender the opportunity not only to prove he’s worth a try but potentially making it impossible for Neil Lennon to ignore him.

Taylor is putting more hours in and working very hard in training to make sure he’s ready if he gets the nod from his manager in 2020.

“I went out there early and did a wee bit of work ahead of starting training because my aim for the second half of the season is to kick right on.” Taylor told SunSport.

“I came here to play games. I don’t want to be just a part of the squad, I want to be an integral part of the squad and play every game.

“That’s what my aim is and I hope I’ve impressed enough in Dubai so that I can do that.

“The time over there was massively important for me. I’m trying to make a claim for a regular place in the team and the manager and coaching staff can get a good look at us in that week of training.

“You’re being watched closely by the gaffer and it’s a good chance to impress and hopefully be in his plans now that we’re back.

“The training was very similar to a pre-season set-up because there’s a lot of hard graft.

“We did the bleep tests early in the week, and I don’t think anyone really ever enjoys it, but it was done to a very high level from the majority of the squad.

“We did a variety of different things that we don’t usually get the chance to do in training back home because we’re always preparing for games.

“We got a good mix of work done throughout the week and it’ll only benefit us now that we’re back.

“The temperature was generally in the high 20s or low 30s, so the training was tough in the heat. That’s what you want at this time of year, though.

“We’ll all benefit from that and I think it’s set us up nicely for the second half of the season.”

Celtic are back in action against Partick Thistle at the weekend and it’ll be interesting to see if Greg Taylor makes the squad. Neil Lennon has left out players you’d imagine should be on the bench this season because he’s had a large pool to pick from – prioritising some positions over others. A Greg Taylor start might be the opportunity to see what he can do as well as give the left-back encouragement and reward for how he’s gone about the January break.


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