Greg Taylor spoke to the media after scoring Celtic’s third goal of the game against St Mirren on Tuesday evening in Paisley. Here’s everything that the Celtic left-back had to say…
Q: Do you think the hunger has been rekindled in the squad after that blip?
Greg Taylor: “Yeah, I think we’ve finished the last few games well. In the last four since certainly we had the blip with a couple of defeats have been strong. We’ve been pretty dominant in all four so it’s been a nice end before this break. It’s not a statement as such. It was just another dominant performance.
“I think it was important off the back of a big game to go and show that we can do it again. We know that when we are at it, making the runs and pressing well, we’re a very difficult team to stop. It was about us on Tuesday. I thought we’d have the right mentality going into the game.”
Q: That was a good finish for your goal!
Greg Taylor: “Thanks. I appreciate that!”
Q: The manager has talked about players being in a different cycle as this team is two years further on, what’s your view on that?
Greg Taylor: “I can only speak for myself. I’m hungry for trophies and hungry for success. I understand that’s the demands of this club. I think there’s still a lot of growth in this team. I think from what he says the manager was talking about how there are a lot of boys who haven’t been at a club of this size. They are growing every day and learning the way we want to play. Slowly but surely hopefully we’ll improve as the season goes along.”
Q: Have you had to readjust to the new manager’s style?
Greg Taylor: “I wouldn’t say so. I think that happened pretty quickly and in football, you’ve got to be in the present and understand what’s being asked of you. Of course, there have been blips along the way. The two defeats in the league were a disappointing stage for us.
“Probably over the piece, there hasn’t been that real consistency that we wanted until these last four games. But I think we’ve now found that. We’ve missed a lot of key players as well and hopefully, we’ll have them back after the break and we’ll be ready to push on.”
Q: Was there a reset after Hearts?
Greg Taylor: “We knew it wasn’t ideal. The goals that we conceded were from set plays. We didn’t start those games well enough. I think we’ve added an intensity to our game since then. There’s been a lot better running off the ball, unselfish running just to create space for your team-mate. That’s been an improvement.”
Q: What were your thoughts on the ‘crisis’ that was being made out?
Greg Taylor: “You try and block it out as much as you can. There has been, of course, a bit of criticism but that can come especially, as I touched on, when you lose two games at this club. It’s not good enough. We understood at that point that we had to finish the four games that we had strongly and we did.”
Q: Do you think with some of the new boys, the penny has dropped that you have to win every game?
Greg Taylor: “Yeah probably. That’s one thing – you need to win but you need to win in a certain style. There were moments in games when we probably were not delivering the performances. We got a few results but we weren’t quite hitting the levels we wanted to. We’ve got to that point recently. But I think there’s more growth in the team. Hopefully, we can show that in the second part of the season.”
Q: Is it an education of sorts, with needing to win every game?
Greg Taylor: “Exactly. You’ve got to learn in the difficult times and also not get too caught up when you have a small bit of success. We’re halfway into a season. That’s what I touched on today – about mentality. As a Celtic player for the big games, it’s easy to get up for them. You know what it takes. You know the demands. It’s about constantly showing that level every single week and in every sign of game. That’s important as well.”
Q: Are you a vocal member of the dressing room?
Greg Taylor: “Yeah definitely. I say my piece. I’m sure I do a lot of the boys’ nuts in but that’s just because I care so much. I want us as a team to show what we are capable of and also to bring success. I only ever give my opinions from a position of wanting us to do well.”
Q: How are you feeling going into the winter break?
Greg Taylor: “I’m looking forward it. You are playing three games as week for a consistent run now, difficult games. So it’s about recharging the batteries. But we know once we come back that there’s a lot of business left in the season that we’ll need to take care of.
“It’s about enjoying a few days and then getting the head prepared for coming back. It’s been a lot but I’m not going to sit here and complain about getting minutes. I love playing. That will never change. I want to win and I want to play. I want to be out there helping the team. I’ve loved every minute of playing as much as I have and I hope that continues in the second part of the season.”
Q: How are you feeling ahead of the EUROs in Germany this year?
Greg Taylor: “It will be amazing if you can make the squad but you’ve got to be focused on the present. That’s still a long time away. After the break, I’ll try to keep my form, improve as much as I can, try and be in the squad for the March camp and see what happens after that. I hope so (go there). It’s not down to me. I can only focus on performances for my club and hopefully bring success here. That part will hopefully then take care of itself.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the club being linked with players in your position at left-back?
Greg Taylor: “It’s always been the case hasn’t it? It’s been the same in every transfer window since I signed here, but it’s part of being at a big club. There will always be challenges and people breathing down your neck that want to take your jersey.
“Never rest on what you’ve done previously and always try to listen to the coaches and the manager. That normally stands you in good stead. Berna is a top player. He’s trained ever so well in this period. I’ve touched on this before, the boys who aren’t playing as consistently as myself and others are so key to whatever success we get in the group.
“These guys train every day like it’s their last session. That’s the only way you can have success as a group. It’s just about trying to keep performance levels in training high for all of us and the manager will pick the team from there.”