GIVEN that Neil Lennon was the man to hand him a life-changing move to Celtic, it is fitting that David Turnbull is playing an integral role in perhaps keeping his manager in a job. The midfielder believes though it is his boss who deserves all the credit.

That’s not to say he believes it was a risk for Lennon to throw a 21-year-old into the deep end when he was coming under severe pressure from a sizeable section of the Celtic support, with Turnbull having enough confidence in his undoubted ability to make a telling contribution.

Indeed, perhaps the only criticism of Lennon with which Turnbull may privately concur is that he should have been in the team a lot sooner, but he has thanked his manager for placing his faith in him, and he hopes that his three goals in his last five games have started the process of repaying his debt.

“He’s been brilliant with me,” Turnbull said. “When I wasn’t playing he was always talking to me, telling me to bide my time and assuring me that my chance would come.

“He was right, he showed faith in me by putting me in and I really hope I’ve repaid that. I want to continue to do that and I’m grateful to him for putting me in.

“I had shown what I could do at Motherwell and started a lot of games there. When I came here I just tried to show it in training as much as I could too.

“So, I’m sure he knew it wasn’t a gamble or a brave decision to put me in, and I always believed I could make an impact.

“I had a lot of confidence from the start to the season I had at Motherwell. I felt I was playing well and it was probably the fittest I’d been when I came here.

“That gave me a lot of belief and to get those games under my belt makes me feel that I can kick on again and continue to get better and better. It’s finally all paying off and I’m delighted.

“It feels like we’re getting back into the groove again. We’re going into every game with confidence again, we’re scoring goals and winning games. It feels good, so long may it continue.

“We had obviously been struggling, but then we got the result in the Lille game and since then we’ve just kicked on.

“Everybody who has played has done well, we’re playing well now as a team and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Turnbull’s remarkable scoring record from midfield at Motherwell saw him net 15 times in just 30 Premiership appearances in season 2018/19, before the knee problem which scuppered his original move to Celtic put him out of action for a year.

With his first strike for the club against Lille and now his first league goals tucked away too, Turnbull hopes that he is sliding into a similar goalscoring groove now for Celtic as he did a couple of seasons ago at Fir Park.

“That was pleasing [to score my first league goal for Celtic],” he said. “I’d obviously scored in Europe but I was wanting the first league goal and I was happy to get that.

“I want to get as many as I can now between now and the end of the season, keep creating chances and just contribute to the team in any way I can.

“The competition for places is obviously tough just now, and whoever has the jersey has a tough task to keep it.

“You have to keep performing at the top of your game to keep the other boys out, and you know that there is real quality on the bench waiting to come in.”

It is the experience married to that quality in the Celtic changing room though that has Turnbull firmly believing that his side’s recent resurgence can carry them all the way to the Premiership title once again, despite the cavernous lead that Rangers currently enjoy over their city rivals.

The immediate aim is to grab another three points against Dundee United tomorrow night at Celtic Park in order to keep Steven Gerrard’s men in their sights, before turning their attention to the New Year visit to Ibrox, which surely must be won if Celtic are to have any hope of reeling Rangers in.

“Every game is a big game and a tough game,” said Turnbull. “We’ll be looking to get positive results in all of our games as our aim is to really start putting a run together.

“There’s obviously a belief within the dressing room that we can still win the league. We believe in each other every day and we are just going to keep doing what we are doing.

“Hopefully we can just go under the radar and keep getting results. We can’t focus on anyone else, only ourselves, and that’s what we’re doing.”