Taylor on Calmac, Matt O’Riley and Celtic’s title winning chance at Rugby Park

Greg Taylor summed up Celtic captain Callum McGregor perfectly after Saturday’s 2-1 victory in the Glasgow Derby that means that Celtic are now six points clear with two games to play and with a positive goal difference advantage of +7.

Callum McGregor of Celtic and Brendan Rodgers embrace following the team’s victory over theRangers at Celtic Park on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Twelve titles in thirteen seasons 

Celtic can actually win the title tomorrow, if the deflated and exhausted theRangers can’t beat Dundee at Ibrox. The Champagne will have to stay on ice for another day if theRangers do manage to get the three points and it will be down at Rugby Park where Celtic can clinch our 12th title on 13 seasons and our 54th title overall.

While Celtic supporters will want to win it ourselves, it is never going to be the case that we want theRangers to win, so best not think about it and just await the outcome tomorrow night!

Colossus in the middle of the park

“He’s a winner, isn’t he?” Greg Taylor said about his Scotland and Celtic teammate Callum McGregor, as reported by Glasgow Times. “He leads by example and drags other boys with him. He’s just a colossus in the middle of the park. A real leader for us.

“He inspires other people. He makes other people around him better, which is an unbelievable trait to have as well as his individual performance. It’s amazing to have him.

Achilles tendonitis

“Achilles tendonitis isn’t good. I’ve suffered with it and still suffer with it, so I feel for him there – it’s tough in the morning.

“Everyone wanted him back because we know what he can do for us, but I don’t think it’s a case of us running extra hard because Callum is in pain. We’re running hard because we want to win for the team.

“That’s the main focus, the main objective.”

And Taylor also had plenty of praise for Man of the Match Matt O’Riley, although it must have been a close call given Calmac’s brilliant performance and leadership.

Matt O’Riley’s unbelievable season

“He’s a top player who has had an unbelievable season,” Taylor said about O’Riley who opened the scoring then missed the penalty that would have restored the two goal advantage and allowed for a possible skelping. Brendan Rodgers reckoned that had that gone in we could have scored four or five.

“He was comfortably the best player in the country up until January, and he’s peaking again right now. The last few weeks he has been outstanding and a real pivotal player for us.”

And while Matt missed out on PFA Player of the Year Award, he collected three last night at the Celtic POTY Awards ceremony at the Hydro. More on that to follow.

Back to Rugby Park

Looking ahead to another trip to Rugby Park, a ground well-known to the former Kilmarnock left-back, Taylor reckons that Celtic are a different outfit to the side that lost down there at the end of August to lose our grip on the League Cup.

“I completely agree,” Greg said. “Definitely. That’s the key point – if you look back at the team then compared to now, we’re a totally different animal.

Peaking at the right time

“We’re peaking at the right time, but it’s important to recognise that there’s still football left in this season for us. That’s the real focus in that changing room. We know there is still a job to be done in the league, then it’s about hopefully taking good form into the cup final.

Daizen Maeda celebrates after his cross leads to Celtic’s second goal during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at Celtic Park  on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“We want to win the game, of course we do. It’s the next game and that’s always the most important. We know now that we can win the league in that game, so the focus is on going there to try to win, at a difficult venue against a team who have done really well this season.”

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