Celtic left-back Greg Taylor has made a surprise appearance in the Champions League following Real Madrid’s turnaround | Tech US News


The bitter disappointment felt by Celtic left-back Greg Taylor was evident when he spoke to the assembled Scottish media deep in the bowels of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Glasgow club’s frustrating Champions League campaign had just ended with a heavy 5-1 defeat to holders Real Madrid and they were clearly hurting like hell.

Ange Postecoglou’s team once again performed well in the matches against Carlo Ancelotti’s team and once again created plenty of scoring opportunities. They managed to hit eight shots in 90 minutes.

However, they once again failed to capitalize on the chances they created in attack and paid the price against their ruthless rivals. That has pretty much been the story of their season in Europe. They failed to win a single match and finished bottom of their division.

But Taylor is down, not deterred.

He revealed that he has enjoyed working with the cream of the continent over the past eight weeks, despite the losses he has suffered, and is determined to face them again in the near future.

The Scotland international believes that the games against RB Leipzig, Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk have been beneficial for his personal development, as well as for Celtic’s collective team, and is confident that they can do much better next time around.

“I loved playing at this level, to be honest,” he said. “It’s the best competition in the world. It was challenging but so fulfilling when you’re competing because you’re learning every moment of the game. You’re trying to focus, you’re trying to change position, everything.

“But it’s tough and tonight was as tough as I feel. They were right about that. It was a tough night. But it also gives you a taste for it, you want another crack at it.

“Everybody in this locker room will want to compete at this level. Of course we want better results, that goes without saying. And the fans demand it. It was difficult.

“But if you don’t want to compete at that level, you’re in the wrong sport. We want to challenge ourselves at the highest level and against the best. Hopefully, if we break down at home, we’ll break out again.

“We are a determined group, but we know that the club demands success, demands playing on the biggest stages. I hope we can get another crack.”

Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois underlined that he is one of the best players, if not the best player in his position in the world game, on Wednesday night by saving a Josip Juranovic penalty and denying Kyoga Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Giorgos Giakoumakis.

Taylor was impressed by the Belgian’s performance. However, he admitted that Celtic, who have scored just four times in six Group F games, need to improve in the final third if they are to challenge for a place in the knockout stages in the future. He also admitted that their defensive displays were not up to the required standard.

“We’re looking at where we can be better, and that’s probably more clinical,” he said. We also need to be more determined at the back and defend better as a team. We’re not just defending as a back four, we’re defending as an 11. They probably beat us a bit too easily.

“I think we’ve done well in points throughout the campaign. But against Real I think they had too much for us to be honest with ourselves. They broke us down with speed, power and quality and were clinical. It was difficult.

“Improvements are definitely needed. But we also know that with a year of experience, if we come back next year, we will be better equipped.”

Taylor and his team-mates were applauded on the pitch in midweek by Celtic fans, who traveled to Spain in their thousands despite the defeat, and the defender was moved to show his appreciation for their efforts.

He hopes he and his colleagues can repay them for their vocal support in the coming months by retaining the Premiership and wants the defending champions to get back to winning ways against Dundee United at Parkhead tomorrow.

“The fans have been amazing throughout the campaign,” he said. “They followed us everywhere, they stood behind us, they applauded us when we were beaten 5-1.

“It’s hard for them to accept that. They deserve more, of course you do. But they are absolutely amazing and every single one of us in that dressing room is so grateful for their support. It’s a fan base like no other.

“It was good for the fans to get something they deserved when Jota scored (the Portuguese winger came on and curled a free-kick seven minutes from time). I wish it was at a more critical point in the game, but it was a real quality moment.

“We have three games before the break and the first one is Dundee United. So we will rest, recover and be ready for a home show for the fans.”

Celtic’s hopes of finishing on a high in the Champions League against Real on Wednesday night were dashed before kick-off when Cameron Carter-Vickers – who has donned the captain’s armband in the games since Callum McGregor was dropped – was ruled out with a knee injury. the injury he suffered on Sunday against Livingston.

But Taylor was pleased to see Carl Starfelt return after a long layoff and is optimistic the Swede can stay fit to help the Scottish champions bounce back from their Champions League campaign and enjoy another successful season in the coming months.

“Losing Cal and Cameron, two pillars in the team, was disappointing,” he said. They are such quality players and at this level you need everyone. But I was glad Carl was back out there again, albeit on a tough night for all of us. He has been working so hard on his rehab and would like us all to have a successful night. But unfortunately it wasn’t like that.”


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