CELTIC continue the countdown to the winter break with tomorrow’s tricky trip to Rugby Park, the venue of their only domestic loss this season.

Brendan Rodgers’ men take on their Viaplay League Cup conquerors Kilmarnock in the High Noon shoot-out in the first of seven fixtures before the curtain comes down on the first half of the campaign with a match against St Mirren in Paisley on January 2.

Greg Taylor has had mixed fortunes while playing against his former club this term. He took his usual left-back position when the holders toppled out of the tournament in late August, but managed to score his only goal of the Premiership this time out with the third in the champions’ 3-1 victory at Parkhead in October.

HIGH NOON…Greg Taylor challenges Killie rival Daniel Armstrong for possession.

Now the Scotland international defender is gearing up for another test of character and, looking forward to a return to his old stomping ground, said: “Every game is difficult and proposes different challenges.

“Sunday will be difficult. It is a tricky surface against a difficult opponent, so that will bring its own challenges.

“But. then, when you go back home, you’ll face another totally different challenge in those games. We are ready for all that we face.

“It can be challenging in terms of recovery and getting yourself prepped for the next game with the busy schedule.

“But it’s also really good. Footballers love playing and we are in a fortunate position that we are out there, getting to represent the club. It’s a massive honour.

“The boys are training really hard every day to try and get an opportunity. So, I think it’s important that the ones who are playing never take it for granted.”

Asked if prior knowledge of the dodgy artificial surface of the home team, Taylor, speaking to Celtic TV, answered: “I don’t know if I’ve got an advantage, but maybe I’m slightly more used to the pitch, in terms of having played on it quite a bit more often than others.

BEST FOOT FORWARD…Greg Taylor on the attack in the 3-1 win over St Johnstone in Perth.

“Kilmarnock are a good side, we know it will be a difficult game and we’re under no illusions that we need to perform.

“We are 16 games into the league so far and I think as that has gone on we have built momentum.

“We’ve got stronger throughout the league campaign. We want to continue that over this period – it’s notorious for being busy with fixtures.

“We want to keep the same level of performance throughout it.”

Looking at Derek McInnes’ side, Taylor, 26, added: “Kilmarnock will be difficult to beat and they will be quite rigid in their block, but I think they also carry a threat.

“They’ve got some real good attacking players and have had a strong season. We will try to go there and dominate the ball.

“We are used to having most of the ball, but we need to be aware for their threats when they get it.”

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