It was last September that David Turnbull made his Celtic debut, as a late replacement for veteran captain Scott Brown.
A year down the line – with the club’s squad completely overhauled under Ange Postecoglou and stalwarts Callum McGregor and James Forrest sidelined – there is the possibility he could start in the Parkhead club’s Premier Sports Cup quarter final at home to Raith Rovers as the performer with more Celtic experience than any other in the line-up.
Turnbull will make his 50th appearance since the £3.5m deal in August 2020 that prised him from Motherwell should he feature against the Kirkcaldy side. Only Tom Rogic of those in contention for the encounter outstrips that total – the Australian boasting more than 200 appearances over his eight-and-a-half year stint.
He may still only be 22, but the playmaker recognises he has been required to grow up quickly as a Celtic player. “It’s funny, because last year everybody around me in the team had played more games, and most had experienced more at Celtic. But going into this season it’s changed a lot. There have been a lot of new signings. I think they’ve settled well, but it’s still been about helping them. I think they all know what it means to play for a club like this. It’s just about getting everyone believing and trying to do big things.”
That aim has been undermined by a sequence that has brought four defeats in their past five games that was capped by the desperate 1-0 defeat in Livingston on Sunday. It is a downturn that followed on from six straight victories. Turnbull doesn’t believe the recent troubles puts them under more pressure in the Raith cup confrontation, though. “We know that we need to win,” he said. “Every game’s the same, we need to win. That’s what it’s all about at a club like Celtic. We did go on a bit of a run, but the results lately haven’t been good enough. We hope to start a run again and continue that form.
“Sunday was a tough one to take. We know it wasn’t good enough but we just want to put that right in this next game. We want to put that behind us so we’ll dust ourselves down, try to play with freedom and do whatever the manager asks us to. I’m not sure what went wrong on Sunday: you always know that Livingston away is going to be hard but, although there were spells when we did well, we just didn’t create clear goalscoring opportunities we could put away. We know we can do better.
“I think [we have a fired-up dressing room]. All the boys are looking forward to it because a win would takes us into the semi-finals, which would be a step in the right direction. We want to win as much as we can here. It would be great to get to Hampden again and see where it takes us. Of course it would be great to get some silverware so early in the season – give everybody confidence going into the latter part, second half of the season.”