Callum McGregor alludes to series of Celtic team meetings, is smiling "for a change"

By Euan Davidson

December 11, 2020

Celtic vice-captain Callum McGregor had some interesting quotes for assorted journalists at Lennoxtown today.

McGregor has always seemed – to me at least – like a genuinely humble person. On and off the pitch, he carries the demeanour of someone who just loves playing for Celtic.

After captaining his boyhood club to a win against Lille last night, he spoke to the press. In doing so, he conveyed the utter relief amongst the team.

“You’re smiling!”
“…for a change!”

For the first time in months, we’ve got to see our of our best players enjoying himself at a press conference. What he said, however, alluded to some internal strife at Celtic Park over the last couple of months. Compared to Jullien’s press conference earlier this month, there was real honesty and assuredness to McGregor’s words.

“Oh my God, here we go again” / (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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“Oh my God, here we go again”

McGregor spoke about what the result meant for both team and staff on Celtic’s official YouTube channel this afternoon:

“The games have been very small margins. When you’re in a rut like that, confidence is low. You lose a goal and kinda go ‘oh my God, here we go again’.

“The win changes everyone’s mentality, the feel-good factor. Everyone comes in the next couple of days with a spring in their step.

“It’s nice to be sitting here and having that more familiar feeling back.”

Callum McGregor: future captain? / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“Meeting after meeting”

In response to questions about Neil Lennon’s mood following the European win, McGregor hinted at attempts to improve the unity of the squad. Over the last couple of months, Celtic’s players have looked bereft of confidence, surrendering leads or simply not turning up from the first whistle.

McGregor said:

“He’s had a tough time, but players have to accept responsibility as well. The manager can affect things right until you go out on the pitch and then obviously the players have to deliver. We have to share the responsibility with him. The players have did that to be fair.

“We’ve had meeting after meeting about it.”

The last quote is particularly interesting, given the rumours of discontent within the squad this season. Clearly, players have talked amongst themselves about where the team has gone wrong. It’s also possible that post-training summits have taken place in order to air grievances.

Neil Lennon has been under intense scrutiny and hasn’t seemed to be able to find answers. Last night’s win against Lille is hopefully a sign of more to come as opposed to a one-off.

Hopefully a solid run can keep a smile on Callum McGregor’s face.