DAVID TURNBULL insists the Celtic players owe Neil Lennon to keep fighting until the last ball is kicked in a tumultuous season.
And the Scotland Under-21 midfielder, who arrived in a £2.25million switch from Motherwell in the summer, admits “if there is no pride, then there ‘s no point in even playing”.
Turnbull, at least, showed a bit of spirit and endeavour in the 2-1 flop against St Mirren at Parkhead as any dreams of 10 in a row vanished in the midst of another dreadful display from the Hoops that has seen them squander a remarkable 12 points – two more than the 30-game campaign last season – in just six outings in 2021.
Scotland’s faltering title kings have now lost twice and drawn three times since the turn of the year with the solitary win coming in a 2-0 victory over rock-bottom Hamilton Accies.
It’s a catalogue of catastrophe, but the 21-year-old playmaker is determined to keep on going right to the bitter end with the Scottish Cup the only likely source of silverware in the campaign from hell.
Asked if he felt Lennon had been let down by his players, Turnbull answered: “Can I sense that? Not really. That’s the manager’s opinion and it’s not for me to comment on what he says or thinks.
“But we do owe the manager to pick this up. We try to do it every week – to keep fighting.
“That’s what the boys are trying to do. We know it’s difficult with the league, but we have to play for pride. If there’s no pride, then there’s no point in even playing football.
“We need to keep trying and keeping pushing, to play as a team. We need to stick together and, hopefully, everyone does that.”
There have been so many disappointments for the Hoops with individuals performances dropping below acceptable levels with Odsonne Edouard, upon whom so many hopes lay, netting only his eighth league goal of the season against the Paisley side – and three of that total have come from the penalty spot.
Ryan Christie has looked a shadow of his former self and the only memorable controbutions have been two spectacular goas in the Scottish Cup-ties against Aberdeen and Hearts.
Take these two exceptional strikes away from the Scotland international and you would be struggling to name another couple of highlights from his contribution this time around. He even got an ear-bashing from Lennon at the weekend with some of his woeful shooting against the Saints with two shots, in particular, almost flying out of the deserted ground.
Turnbull kept going, though, until his substitution with Mikey Johnston coming on for him in the 81st minute.
The youngster, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “Has confidence taken a battering? Yeah, I would say so. Personally, it’s tough going in to games at the moment.
“It’s hard to keep yourselves going when you are going behind and you know you need to get it back.
“But we need to get that out of our heads. We need to keep pushing and make sure we play better, simple as that.
”It obviously wasn’t the result we wanted going in to the St Mirren game. We managed to get ourselves back into it, but it was disappointing to go behind twice.
“With the players we have got we should have been able to pull it back.
“It’s hard to put the finger on one thing as to why it’s not happening. Sometimes it’s a lack of concentration, it might be individual error at times.
“Either way, it’s hard to take and we really need to work on it.”