FROM the first day he arrived at Celtic Park, Greg Taylor has been driven to prove he belongs there. As a relatively unheralded youngster signed from Kilmarnock, he went into every training session and every game knowing that he was fighting for his place at the club, let alone his place in the team.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Taylor’s star may have risen exponentially since the arrival of Ange Postecoglou as manager, but that didn’t stop Celtic shelling out £3.75m on another left-back in the summer.

The emergence of Alexandro Bernabei in recent weeks as a viable alternative to Taylor may have been seen from the outside as a reminder to him that, as impressive as he has been of late, his place in the team is never secure. As his consistently outstanding form this term would suggest though, he probably didn’t need one.

“I don’t think you need a reminder,” Taylor said.

“We’re all training to such a high standard. So, whether it’s Berna or whoever plays in any position, you know they are going to take their opportunity and Berna has done that when he’s come in. 

“He’s eager to learn as we all are. Whoever the manager selects for any game, they are going to give a top level performance. 

“Everyone is hungry to play. When you get an opportunity, most boys at the moment are taking it. 

‘We know it’s an intense period. I think we’ve got another seven games to go now [before the World Cup] so there’s going to be plenty of rotation and opportunities for boys to play. 

“We’ve got a squad for that reason. Every player naturally wants to play in every game but that’s not possible – unless you are Cal! [Callum McGregor]

“We all want to play but equally we understand that there has to be rotation from time to time.”

All that is not to say that Taylor has to like it when he is out of the team, even if the manager has done it for reasons of recuperation. How does he take it?

“Ask the manager!” he said.

“No, listen, I’m part of the team and I understand it. I want to play every game, I’m eager to play every game but probably realise that to keep a level of performance as a team, that’s not going to be possible, so I understand.”

He has little choice but to, in fairness. Postecoglou quipped after the win over Motherwell on Wednesday night that he deals with players he has rested or dropped simply by pinning the team up, walking away and ignoring them.

“When the manager puts the board up before the game, you are just keen and hoping that your name is on it,” Taylor said.

“Whoever is playing in whatever position, you just back he team that the gaffer selects because we know if we all have that attitude and work hard for each other then we’ll all reap the rewards and get the success together.”

Celtic took another step towards further success with that emphatic 4-0 win at Fir Park, which set up a League Cup semi-final against Taylor’s old club, Kilmarnock, in the New Year.

The left-back’s clever cross – when he easily could have taken on a shot - set up Liel Abada for the crucial opening goal in Lanarkshire against a fired-up home side, and he joked that the players in front of him need to start putting away more of his crosses to bump up his assist stats.

“It was a good performance,” he said. “In the first half I felt we played some good stuff without getting the rewards. 

“But we knew that Motherwell probably couldn’t keep up the intensity of the pressure they put us under in the first half. And we got the goals in the second. 

“I probably don’t shoot enough, to be honest, but the gaffer is big on first time crosses. So as soon as I got in there, that’s what it was. I was just hoping that Liel could get in front of the defender, and he did. 

“I could have done with a few more boys taking a few more chances over the past few weeks!  Thankfully, Liel did that. But it’s not about me. It’s about a team performance and getting results to build something together and hopefully get success. 

“Hampden will be another big occasion with a great travelling support, just like we had on Wednesday. It will be a good opportunity for us to try and get to another final.”

That goal from Abada was his seventh already this season from just 16 appearances, and he added an eighth before the end of the night for good measure.

Coming on the back of a 15-goal debut season in Scotland, it is little wonder that Taylor has been impressed by the output of the Israeli.

“He’s been absolutely outstanding,” he said. “It’s such a young age to have the numbers he’s got. It’s superb. 

“There’s probably no better role model than James Forrest who he learns off every day. 

“He’s been at the club for 14 years. To be at a club this size for that long takes some amount of commitment, but also some amount of ability, and James is a credit to himself. As is Liel.”