Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou's brilliant reaction to Callum McGregor's iron man moment

By John McGinley

March 31, 2023

No Celtic player is more important for both club and country right now than Callum McGregor. Already known as a talismanic, consistent presence in the Hoops midfield – he is now becoming increasingly crucial to a high-performing Scotland side under Steve Clarke.

It was notable over the international break that it was McGregor who pulled the iron man stint by backing up a double 90-minute shift against Cyprus and Spain. It seems no one is trusted more on the pitch right now by both Postecoglou and Clarke.

In the second match, the midfielder even showed how energetic he can be right to the very end with a surge forward on the ball that had Hampden and an entire nation on its feet deep into injury time against the Spanish.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic boss pays tribute to Callum McGregor

Postecoglou joked in his press conference today he’d have rather seen the full-time whistle blow than the player get any more minutes than he needed to, but did go on to pay perfect tribute to his Celtic star.

The Bhoys boss said [Celtic FC]: “I would have preferred the ref to blow for full-time before then! I thought the time was already up, so I wasn’t really sure why he was carrying on. Look it’s no surprise. With other players who go away with their national team, you do wonder how much they are going to play, but there’s never any doubt that Callum will play all the time. He’s, knock on wood, a pretty resilient individual and he wants it and he thrives on that.

“If you kept him out and tried to rest then it would not do him any good because he’s just geared to be performing and always performing at the highest level. So it didn’t surprise me that he was the one in the last minute who was still sort of driving forward and the team forward. It just epitomises the person he is as much as the player.

“I am pleased for Callum. Firstly, because I know how much it means to him to play for his country. As much as he’s the captain of our club and the leader of our club, he just cherishes his national team representation. It was a big night for him and it was a big night for the team and for the whole nation. It’s great because it builds belief in the whole group. I don’t think there is any doubt that Callum can perform at those levels.

“I think for him to do it with his national team is special. So you take great pride in that and we take great pride as a football club as well, because as I said he’s our leader and he represents us on the national stage. I thought he was outstanding in both games and played every minute of both games. You saw in the last couple of minutes of the second game that he just has this real ability and determination to give everything and every ounce of his body and that’s what he does every time he plays.”

McGregor did pick up an injury earlier in the season but it wasn’t as a result of fatigue. In fact, that time out of action was probably beneficial to him in a way. He’s played so much football over the last few years so a couple of months off mid-season was a chance to refresh in multiple ways.

That may be why he is currently showing his best stuff deep into the season. It all bodes well for him playing a vital role as Celtic make this big push for a treble.

In other news, Excellent news from Lennoxtown as 4 of the big international break Celtic concerns are cleared up.