Celtic’s two unsung heroes behind title charge as Greg Taylor names team-mate who is ‘cut over the top’ in training
Greg Taylor believes the defensive duo Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt are unsung Celtic heroes.
The centre-backs have been a rock on which Ange Postecoglou’s side have built their domestic success so far this season.
Along with goalkeeper Joe Hart, the trio of new faces have been crucial in delivering strong performances as Celtic top the Premiership with eight games to go.
Many Postecoglou signings have been hailed for their outstanding contributions, with forwards making headlines.
However, with just 18 goals conceded in 30 top-flight appearances so far in this campaign, the backline is also playing its part.
Full-back Taylor said: “I agree they have been unsung heroes. The two guys in the back were really good. Not only in our defense but in the construction phase they helped us a lot.
“It’s not easy to play the way the coach wants, but they did it without a problem.
“They have accumulated a lot of clean sheets and hopefully that can continue for the rest of the season.
“We haven’t had a knock against us in the games with Hibs and St Mirren and that says it all.
“You look at Cameron and Carl, with Joe as well. But I know they would say it starts with forwards and wingers. All season defenders have been grateful to these guys who give their all to the team every game.
“They are doing graft power and the manager said if the front players could do that they would reap the rewards with the goals and the assists.
“It takes a lot of work, we are grateful to them.”
Carter-Vickers has emerged as a candidate for Player of the Year and Taylor feels the Spurs man on loan is letting his game do the talking.
He said: “Cameron has been exceptional on the pitch, while outside he’s really quiet. He’s even quieter than the gaffer!
“I try to avoid it in training, mind you. He has a certain size and he is fast too. He has all the tools and has used them this year.
“He goes about his business, he trains and works hard. He’s not a shouter and a brawler, he goes about his business quietly.
“I know he’s absolutely desperate to do well here. He is desperate to win. You can say.
“He’s very proud not to concede a goal. If he does, he’s so determined that it won’t happen again.
“He and Carl have been a big part of why we’ve been successful so far this season.”
As well as having the most mediocre defensive record in the Premiership, Celtic are also top scorers with 65 at an average of over two per game.
Kyogo Furuhashi is the top scorer with 16 goals in all competitions despite being on the injured list, with goals tied. Liel Abada scored 14 and Daizen Maeda scored his fifth against Livingston on Sunday.
Jota wasn’t on the scoresheet at the Tony Macaroni Arena but he was a creative influence again and Taylor said: “Just a few weeks ago he scored two hugely important goals in Aberdeen to bring us back three points on a tough night.
“Jota has been outstanding this season. It’s no surprise because he’s a top pro.
“He’s reaping his own rewards because away from the pitch he’s always working hard to improve. You can see why he’s been so good for us and hopefully he can keep it that way until the end of the season.
“He’s a great player for us. He’s one of those, it doesn’t matter if he’s quiet because it only takes a second for him to turn a game around.
“We have a lot of players like that and it would be unfair to say that he is the one we rely on for those kinds of things. We have James (Forrest), Abada, Mikey Johnston, (Giorgos) Giakoumakis, Maeda and d ‘others.
“Kyogo set the bar very high with the way he started. He was amazing and we can’t wait to see him again.
“But Daizen has done really well for us. A lot of his work goes unnoticed. The way he presses and creates chances out of thin air is a midfielder’s and defender’s dream. All of us in the building are grateful to have it.
“Daizen has already played a full season and his work rate is incredible.
“All the guys work hard to be fair, but Daizen is just a cut above the rest. It is incomparable.