AFTER a strong start to last season when he was an integral cog in what was rapidly becoming Ange Postecoglou’s well-oiled machine, David Turnbull’s campaign was stopped in its tracks by a hamstring injury in December’s League Cup Final win over Hibernian.

Ironically, the reliance Postecoglou had on Turnbull and the creative responsibility he was comfortable with allowing him to shoulder played a part in the setback being sustained.

But this is Celtic, and no sooner had Turnbull hopped onto the treatment table than his manager had gone out and recruited four new arrivals in January, two of which who like to operate in the attacking midfield positions that are his natural habitat.

Now back to full fitness, Turnbull would have naturally been disappointed to have found himself on the bench for last weekend’s Premiership opening fixture against Aberdeen, but rather than sulk, he was determined to make the most of any time on the pitch that came his way.

An unfortunate injury to Reo Hatate opened the door for him to get 25 minutes or so under his belt in that game, and he certainly made an impact, even if describing his pass to Jota just prior to the winger scorching the ball into the net from 30 yards as an assist would be a generous interpretation.

Hatate will remain sidelined for the trip to Dingwall this afternoon, potentially allowing Turnbull a chance to start. If he does so, or even if he doesn’t, the only thing the former Motherwell man is focused on is seizing any opportunity that he is given to impress.

“There are a lot of bodies and there is good competition,” Turnbull said.

“Everyone who has come in has made a difference and added to the team. That can only go well for everyone else. It steps up the levels in training and in games. It’s good.

“A club like Celtic is a huge club and you know you’re going to face competition. Everyone knows that, whoever comes here. There are great players all around us and it’s just about working hard together as a team and trying to push your way in there.

“Last week I felt I came on and I had to try and make an impact in the game as you do every week. Whether it’s starting or on the bench you just have to go out and give 100 per cent. I will do that whether it’s on the bench or starting.”

Turnbull looks back fondly on a pivotal trip to face County last season, when Anthony Ralston’s last-gasp header not only gave Celtic three crucial points, but also huge momentum as they looked to overhaul Rangers at the top of the Premiership.

He is hoping it may be a great deal more comfortable for Celtic this time around, but is prepared for a tough test.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It will be a good game. I played in that game the week before the cup final last season. It was a massive game and it was a tough game. We went up there and we knew what to expect.

“They gave us a good game and we had to fight until the very last kick of the ball and Tony got the goal and it was a great feeling. Hopefully we don’t leave it as late this time but it was a great game.

“It was not ideal during the game but the feeling we got when we scored the late goal, no other feeling matches it. It was just great to get the three points and it was a bit of a turning point that set us off on a good run.

“It’s always a tough game. County away always give 100 per cent and they always pose a challenge when we go up there.

“It’s a tight, compact ground and not as big a pitch as we are used to. But it’s always a good game.”