GREG Taylor is confident he can erase the memory of Kilmarnock’s humiliating Europa League exit at the hands of Connah’s Quay Nomads this season by helping Celtic beat Rennes tonight and top Group E.

Scotland left back Taylor is set to start for Neil Lennon’s side in their penultimate Group E match at Parkhead this evening in the absence of injured duo Boli Bolingoli and Jonny Hayes.

It will be a big ask for a player whose only experience of European football came when the Rugby Park club were beaten by part-time Welsh minnows Nomads back in July.

However, the 22-year-old, a £3 million signing in September, is relishing the prospect and is fully focused on ensuring Celtic triumph and finish first in their section for the first time in their history.

“You can’t dwell on the past,” he said. “I’d describe the Connah's Quay matches as a freak two games. It took us by surprise. We didn’t give a good account of ourselves but it’s never easy when it’s so early in the season and there’s a new manager in as well.

“There’s no point mincing your words – it was frustrating and hugely disappointing. You work so hard over 38 games the previous season to get there so to not have a proper crack at it was so disappointing.

“When you are sitting in the dressing room that night the Europa League group stages seemed a million miles away. But here we are, it’s been a strange few months. It’s exciting to go from there to where I am today. It’s been some journey since then.

“I didn’t want that to be my last game in Europe, going out in the first qualifying round. Thankfully I came here and have another chance at it.”

Taylor added: “Topping the group would be a totally different kind of experience and that’s what the focus is on. We are in a good winning habit and we want it to continue.

“I remember a lot of big European nights at Parkhead. There have been so many famous nights at Celtic Park. Hopefully we can go on and get another one on Thursday night by getting the victory and topping the group.

“That’s never been done in the club’s history so it would be brilliant if we could do that and be part of it. It would be a hell of a lot better than my experience in Europe at the start of the season.”

Taylor has only made two first team appearances for Celtic since his move from Kilmarnock – in Ladbrokes Premiership matches against St Mirren last month and Livingston on Saturday.

However, the defender, who started in Scotland’s final Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus away and Kazakhstan at home this month, feels he has improved greatly despite his lack of game time.

“I feel like I am a better player since I joined Celtic, 100 per cent,” he said. “When you come to a club the size of Celtic you do improve because you are playing and training with better players.

“There’s no secret in that. You’re training at a higher standard every day so you can only get better. To get a few games at international level is another level above and hopefully I can continue that by playing in the Europa League.

“It’s been different, that’s right to say. But it’s very rare for someone to walk straight into the Celtic team. They are used to winning every week.

“Of course, every player wants to come into a new club and play every minute. But there’s a settling in process and the two months I have been out the team will probably benefit me in the long run. I’m now up to speed, I understand the way of playing and hopefully now I’m ready to take my chance and become a regular.”

Taylor made his Scotland debut in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Belgium in Brussels back in June and is hoping that experience will prepare him for facing Rennes in a packed Parkhead.

“After that, nothing will faze me,” he said. “I was thrown in at the deep end in Belgium, but these are the games you want to play in. You want to test yourself at the highest level and the Europa League and Belgium is definitely up there.”