Callum McGregor explains the vital message he'll give Celtic players before Glasgow derby

By David Walton

March 31, 2022

Callum McGregor has stated that he’ll tell the Celtic players to remain calm before the Glasgow derby against Rangers in what will be a hostile environment.

The Hoops will take 700 away fans to Govan on what could be a title-defining day. Given how high the stakes are, it’s fair to say that the importance of this particular derby clash is even greater than normal.

The atmosphere heading into the game will be raucous, and no doubt unpleasant for the Celtic players given the abuse and criticism they’ll receive from the stands. We saw just how easily Rangers crumbled at Parkhead back in February when the noise from Parkhead shrunk them down to size.

Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

And McGregor will be wary of similar happening to the Hoops as he told Celtic TV that he’ll be preaching a message of calmness:

“[The message] is just to stay calm. We know the way we want to work. We’ve been doing it for 7, 8, 9 months now in terms of the gaffer’s message and how he wants us to play. I think when you come to these big games, it’s just important to stay calm and remember your principles and way you want to work and the way the team functions.

“You do your job for the team and you get that success as a collective. By all accounts, I spoke to some guys at this morning, the training week has been good so far. We’ll have a wee breather tomorrow and then ramp it up again before the weekend.

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“I’m under no illusions we’ll be absolutely ready come the game with everybody fully focused and carrying out what the manager has asked us to do. Like I said, the players just give everything and we go there together to get a result”

Celtic need to play the opposition and not the occasion

Celtic know they can beat Rangers. It doesn’t matter the pitch and it doesn’t matter the stadium. That’s why February’s doing was so important. It gave us as supporters the sign we needed that we could break this psychological barrier we had going into this fixture.

The same goes for the players. Yes, this is a new side that’s been building since the summer. However, had we lost a second consecutive derby? That would’ve been a major setback for us and the manager. Question marks would still be hovering above this squad that aren’t there due to the result.

It would be extremely easy for Celtic to go to Ibrox and get lost in the occasion. To respond to the atmosphere with an over-aggressive approach. It could easily lead to us doing something we would massively regret. That’s why Callum’s message is of the utmost importance.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Of course, not that Celtic necessarily need to prove they can deal with hostile atmospheres. It’s important to remember how well we showed up against the likes of Real Betis and Ferencvaros with no away fans present. The latter a game we won 3-2.

Sure, the occasion of Ibrox and everything that entails is huge. But let’s not pretend it’s something that could see Celtic crumble in.

We’re in a great place heading into this one. And with an experienced head such as Callum leading the troops, we should be on course for a big performance.

In other news, Rival supporters in despair after Morelos update; many now in total fear of Celtic game