Celtic defender Christopher Jullien has said that matches in the Scottish Premiership can provide just as steep a learning curve as those in the Europa League.
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He said: “When we came up against Lazio we all knew how good [Ciro] Immobile was, whereas some of the opponents we face in the league can surprise you with their quality.
“The Livingston game is the perfect example of how dangerous opponents can be in the league and I feel I can learn just as much from scenarios like that as I can in the European games.
“Every game presents a good opportunity to learn and it doesn’t always match up with how great the opponent is.”
Jullien endured a difficult afternoon in Celtic’s 0-2 defeat to Livingston at the start of October, with Mizgan Masani of Read Celtic saying that it “wasn’t his best day in terms of defending” and The 4th Official feeling that he “might have to take some blame” for the goals that his team conceded.
The centre-back took to Twitter afterwards to apologise for being “too nervous” in that game, describing it as a “wake up call”. [via @Chri6ViF]
Indeed, he has been a near-constant presence in a Hoops defence that has subsequently kept five successive Premiership clean sheets and let in just four goals in their last eight matches in all competitions. [via TransferMarkt]
Jullien was a rock at the back for Celtic in their win at Lazio three weeks ago, winning seven aerial duels at the Stadio Olimpico, along with making three interceptions and 12 clearances. [via WhoScored]
The defeat at Livingston in early October appears to have been a turning point for Jullien as well as Celtic, with the centre-back putting that off-day behind him in impressive fashion.
He showed with two strong displays against Lazio that he can perform on the European stage, while helping his team to five successive clean sheets in the league would suggest that he has got to grips with the challenges that Premiership football can pose.
The harsh lessons learned from the Tony Macaroni Arena seem to have made Jullien stronger rather than weaker.
Celtic fans, what did you make of Jullien’s remarks? Has the Livingston game been a turning point for him? Comment below with your views!
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