Callum McGregor insists Hampden clash is like any other final

By Hamish Carton

December 6, 2019

Callum McGregor reckons that Sunday’s Betfred Cup face-off is similar to any other final Celtic have played in the last few years.

Since Rangers last reached a cup final in May 2016, we’ve won nine consecutive domestic trophies and are well on course for number ten this weekend. Those finals have been against Aberdeen (three times), Motherwell (twice) and Hearts (once) but McGregor insists little will change in his side’s mentality from those games to this one.

“I think we’ll have to be at our very best to win the trophy — it’s the same in any cup final,” he told the Scottish Sun.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“It’s no different to Rangers against Celtic or Rangers against Hearts or Celtic against Motherwell. We will have to bring our A-game and hopefully that’s enough on the day.

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“It’s the first trophy that comes about. If you can get that first one in the bag then it makes the rest of it psychologically a bit easier.

“Going into the final, it’s a 50/50 game. Whoever turns up and does the right things on the day will win the game. We have to forget everything that’s happened in the past.”

McGregor and his team-mates know how to play a final

Celtic may have a number of players playing in their first Scottish final, but the recent experience of the rest of our stars will surely play a big impact on Sunday. Our players know what it’s like to turn up at Hampden and clinch a trophy. They’ve done it on the last six occasions – scoring 12 goals and conceding just twice.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Yes, Sunday’s match will have a little extra riding on it being a derby. But the same principles remain. Deal with the occasion, win the battle and then let your superior quality shine through.

Rangers, in comparison, have lost six of their last seven visits to the National Stadium – with three of those against ourselves. Their personnel may have changed a lot over the past 12 months but that could bring about more negatives than positives, with players unsure what to expect.

If we turn up and play our game, we’ll win. That’s the point that McGregor was making in his own diplomatic way.