DAVID TURNBULL hopes to play some part when Celtic take on Michael Beale’s Ibrox side in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday afternoon.
The stylish Scotland international midfielder played and scored in the competition’s kick off in the 5-0 win over Morton at Parkhead on January 21.
Turnbull was also in at the start on the 5-1 triumph over St Mirren at the same venue at the next stage, but was a no-show when Ange Postecoglou’s side overwhelmed Hearts 3-0 at Tynecastle in the quarter-final last month.
ON THE BALL… David Turnbull in control in Celtic’s 3-1 win over Ross County in Dingwall in August.
The gifted playmaker, bought by ex-boss Neil Lennon from Motherwell for £2.78million in August 2020, has been used sparingly in this campaign and his last Premiership start was in the 2-0 home win over Ross County back on November 12.
Turnbull has been in the starting line-up just six times and a substitute 19 times in his league appearances and on Saturday was introduced to the team in the 1-1 draw against his former Fir Park side as an 87th-minute replacement for Greg Taylor in a last throw of the dice to maintain the champions’ 100 per domestic record in the east end of Glasgow.
The stylish engine-toom performer was in Postecoglou’s pool of players for the League Cup Final against the Govan club in February, but remained on the bench with the manager utilising five of his stand-by squad – Tomoki Iwata, Matt O’Riley, Oh Hyeon-gyu, Sead Haksabanovic and Liel Abada – on the holders’ way to retaining the trophy with a 2-1 victory courtesy of a double from Kyogo Furuhashi.
Turnbull, though, did make his mark in the Glasgow derby in September when he latched onto a careless clearance from keeper Jon McLaughlin to roll in the final goal in the 4-0 romp at Parkhead.
THREE CHEERS…David Turnbull is congratulated by Moritz Jenz and Giorgos Giakoumakis after scoring the fourth goal in the 4-0 derby romp in September. Ironically, Turnbull is the only player still at the club.
The midfielder, who will celebrate his 24th birthday in July, is out of contract in June next year and must wonder if he is now surplus to requirement at the champions.
With Reo Hatate a massive doubt for the Sunday last-four encounter, it looks as though his compatriot Iwata will get the nod to take his place alongside Callum McGregor with Aaron Mooy and O’Riley vying for the other position in the mid-three.
Hatate’s last appearance was in the 3-1 win over Hibs at Parkhead on March 18. He limped off after only 13 minutes and Turnbull immediately took his place. It appears Iwata, though, has moved ahead of the Scot in the pecking order since ten.
Turnbull, though, will still be ready to make a contribution as Celtic prepare to take another step towards only the eighth treble in the club’s history.