Greg Taylor pinpoints surprising secret behind Ismaila Soro's Celtic success

Greg Taylor has revealed that Scott Brown’s influence at Celtic has not been undiminished by the supporting role forced on him by Ismaila Soro’s emergence.

Celtic's Greg Taylor in action during Wednesday's 2-0 win over Hamilton. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The Ivorian was voted man of the match by the club’s armchair supporters for his commanding showing in the midweek win over Hamilton - a game that Brown was suspended for following his red card against Livingston the previous week.

It is now almost two months since the Celtic captain started in the league as a consequence of Soro making the midfield enforcer role his own. And Taylor maintains he has been able to achieve that precisely because the 35-year-old continues to be a driving force behind the scenes.

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“Soro’s done really well but, equally, I think it’s important not to forget about Broony,” said Taylor. “When Broony plays he’s a leader out there. He encourages everyone. Even when he’s not been playing he’s been different class with all the boys, especially Soro. As much as he’s been superb, it’s important not to forget the role that Broony plays within the club and the team. All the time Broony’s speaking to everyone. Every day in training he sets an example. At his age he’s a credit, he’s one of the fittest guys I’ve ever seen and he’s a top, top pro.”

Taylor has enjoyed his own renaissance in the past week on occupying the left-back slot for consecutive league games for the first time since Diego Laxalt was recruited on loan from AC Milan in October, turning in a display that should see him retained for St Mirren’s visit on Saturday. That represents progress for the Scotland international after four months when he has largely had to defer to the Uruguayan.

As a result, the former Kilmarnock man even found himself on the bench for the two games earlier this month - despite 13 Celtic players having to isolate through being identified as close contacts of Christopher Jullien after he tested positive for Covid-19 following the club’s ill-judged Dubai winter training camp.

“Diego was still fit at that point,” Taylor said. “At a club this size there’s going to be competition and the gaffer’s got a decision to make every game. For those couple of games he went with Diego and I was still one of the most experienced players available. So it was about still being good around the boys. And when the chance came up again for me I had to make sure I took it. I would say personally the season has not been, over the piece, bad. There’s going to be competition in every place at Celtic. It’s a massive club. You can only do your best when you get the opportunities. And certainly of recent, hopefully I’ve done enough to keep my place.

“Learning wise, I speak to the coaches every day and learn that way. There’s also analysis of my own performances and what I can do better. And if Diego plays, he’ll probably do the same. It’s competition and there’s a jersey up for grabs – it’s one I want to keep. We got the win against Hamilton and a clean sheet, so I hope it’s enough for me to keep the jersey for the next game.”

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