Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor doesn’t think the club’s European exits have anything to do with the team’s mentality, The Scotsman reports.
The Bhoys’ largest shareholder Dermot Desmond gave an interview to The Athletic last week in which he claimed the first-team stars at Celtic Park have a ‘fear of failure’ in European competition and a ‘psychological blockage’ when it comes to making progression.
Asked if his team have a mental problem in European ties, McGregor offered an alternative view.
As quoted by The Scotsman, he said: “I don’t think so.
“Obviously you get games like Ferencvaros where you control large parts of the game and they go up the pitch and score a counter-attack with ten minutes to go. You can be unlucky. I look back at the Cluj game the year before, crazy game at Celtic Park when they go up the pitch four times and score all four.
“These games, you make mistakes you get punished, but if you actually look at the performances they have probably been worthy of getting something.
“We have to be positive and if you go back to the group stage games last season, Rennes at home, Lazio home and away. You get over the line there [to top a European group for the first time] so I don’t think there’s a psychological thing.”
The midfielder is a dressing room leader so his comments are interesting and perhaps represent the wider view of the squad.
McGregor has no problem with the club’s decision to bring in a psychologist to help the squad but clearly he is putting recent European calamities down to something other than mentality.
Ultimately having access to that kind of support mechanism at the club can only be a positive.
If there is a group mentality problem, Neil Lennon will hopefully get to the bottom of it with a new expert on board.
These players have shown time and again there are winners and can achieve enormous success. Hopefully this season they prove it again.