Celtic left-back Greg Taylor is determined to seize any chance he might get against Real Betis and put on a show for the supporters at Parkhead.
Betis and Celtic have already secured second and third place in their Europa League group respectively ahead of Thursday’s final group game, with the Hoops dropping into the Europa Conference League after the winter break.
But manager Ange Postecoglou bristled at suggestions the game was a “dead rubber” and declared it an excellent opportunity to give game time to players who need it.
Taylor falls into that category after returning from shoulder surgery for Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Dundee United.
The former Kilmarnock player said: “First of all, the gaffer will pick the 11 for Thursday night and then we will see who is playing.
“But I think he is spot-on. It would be disrespectful, one, to the competition, and, two, to the club to put any game for Celtic as a dead rubber.
“It’s an opportunity to, one, impress the manager and, two, to put on a performance for the fans.
“The gaffer stresses, when you get the chance to play, it’s an opportunity and it’s about taking that.
“Thursday is no different. The competition is an elite level so we need to be right at it. It’s about focusing on us and continuing to try to play the football that we do.”
The 24-year-old initially suffered his shoulder injury during a Europa League play-off against AZ Alkmaar.
“I have been pushing for a return as quick as possible,” Taylor said. “Sunday went well – shoulder felt good and it was a good team performance so it was good to get back out there.
“There is nothing worse than being on the sidelines but thankfully the boys have been on a good run and it was nice to continue that on Sunday. I was desperate to be back out there. For the 11 weeks I was out, it was tough to watch.
“It’s a hectic schedule, we have eight games until the break. So there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone and it’s about taking the opportunities when they come.”
Taylor was speaking as the Celtic FC Foundation, the club’s charitable arm, announced a £10,000 donation to Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity. The club will also send gifts to the hospital and players will interact with patients online.
“It’s a really good gesture from the club,” Taylor said. “It goes to help the most vulnerable at this time of the year, kids who sometimes wouldn’t get something on Christmas morning.”