IT may well be too little, too late but there was a glimpse of the ‘real’ Tom Rogic against St Mirren on Wednesday night. The Australian midfielder got the ball rolling on what became a fairly emphatic Celtic win in Paisley with David Turnbull left to enthuse about the quality and dominant nature of the Parkhead side’s midfield showing in the victory.
It was only the second goal of the season for Rogic – Turnbull has chipped in with six since his arrival from Motherwell – but the former Fir Park player has been enthused by the quality of his colleague.
“When I was up against Tom with Motherwell I always felt it was impossible to get the ball off him,” he said. “He’s just so strong, he can hold the ball up and hold you off as well. There’s so many good touches – it’s just hard to get the ball off him.
“It was like that against him but he’s the same in training. He keeps himself to himself but there’s a bit of banter there. He’s such a chilled out guy.
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“He’s right up there with the best I’ve played with or against. You see his technical ability when he plays. We’ve been playing together recently and hopefully he can continue to show it. He looked very sharp the other night, especially in the second half when we all kind of clicked together. We all showed our ability but Tom especially.
“That’s three games we’ve won in a row and we’ve got better in each game. Hopefully we can kick on an continue the run.
“We played St Mirren a few weeks ago and it wasn’t a great result. We just went back to work on the training ground and made sure we gave 110 percent in every game. We’ve stuck together as a team. The second goal really killed the game the other night and once we got it we played with more confidence. You can then go out and get a few more goals.”
Celtic have scored 10 goals in their last three games and will play St Johnstone this weekend but there is a pervasive feeling that the remainders of the campaign is about little more than pride. Turnbull inevitably was keen to stress the importance of continuing to pick up points as Celtic seek to salvage something from the wreckage of the season.
“It’s just about fighting until the last game,” said the 21-year-old. “We’ll keep pushing and sticking together as a team, to make sure we keep getting results like the other night. Winning games helps but I’ve loving life here, I’m playing games and enjoying it.”
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Turnbull is one of few Celtic players who have emerged with pass-marks this season. The midfielder had to be patient following his move from Motherwell but has gelled quickly into the Parkhead side, a feat that was made more complicated by the nature of Celtic’s season and the frustrations around it.
“It’s obviously great to play every game,” he said. “I just need to keep up the good work to keep my place. I need to keep striving to play well in every game to stay in the team. There are so many good players fighting for places in similar positions. It means you need to be training well every day as well as playing as well as you can. There are boys back from injury so it’s always about taking your chance.”