Celtic captain Callum McGregor shows leadership with perfect response to derby defeat

By John McGinley

April 17, 2022

Callum McGregor has told his teammates that next week’s match away to Ross County in the Scottish Premiership is now the biggest of the season.

McGregor was as disappointed as anyone at Hampden today after falling to a 2-1 extra-time defeat to Rangers in the Scottish Cup.

It has derailed the club’s push for a treble but the title is still very much in our own hands. The Bhoys sit six points clear at the top of the table with just five games remaining.

However, everyone is acutely aware nothing is won yet and McGregor’s defiant post-match message this evening has hit the spot.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

He said [CelticFC.com]: “We’ve put ourselves in a really good position through a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of dedication, a lot of good football and a lot of strength within the group, so it’s important that we don’t lose that.

“These games – semi-finals – they’re always on a knife-edge and they can go either way. Of course we have to be disappointed, which we are, but we have to put that out of our mind and realise that we can still make it a really successful season for the club and for ourselves as a group and, again, that will help us grow as well.

“So it’s just important that we don’t get too downbeat and let everything fall apart from one result.

“We’ll learn from it, and we have to show what we’re about next week. That’s the biggest game of the season so we have to go there and win.”

Celtic 1-2 Rangers (AET) | LIVE Reaction

Celtic 1-2 Rangers (AET) | LIVE Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

McGregor is not only spot on here but he could be seen rallying his teammates at the end of the match and having a word with them. He knows how to handle all of this.

Frankly, for me, this team have earned the trust from supporters that they’ll go up to Ross County next week and secure the result we need to move a step closer to the title.

Today was obviously a setback, but McGregor and his teammates have already bounced back from setbacks this season. A defeat to Ibrox was no joke, while a costly result against Livingston earlier in the season had everyone under serious pressure.

This isn’t going to spiral out of control. We have to believe that. With five games remaining Celtic are in command when it comes to the title. Finish the job and everyone will be delighted with the season, despite today.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou disputes fatigue theory after Celtic defeat.