Callum McGregor has told of how Celtic’s half-time team-talk consisted of trying to dictate the play at Livingston.
The Hoops lost 2-0 away from home as they suffered their first defeat of the season in domestic action. It ended a fine run under Neil Lennon of just one defeat in all competitions.
But it was the timing of the opening goal that was a real sickener for Celtic fans. Scott Robinson fired Gary Holt’s side in front just minutes into the second 45. It halted Celtic from getting a grip of proceedings, and put them up against it for the majority of the half.
And McGregor, speaking to the official Celtic website, has revealed that it effectively killed off the half-time message.
“We spoke at half-time about trying to dictate the play in terms of how we want to play the game. But they scored early and that got their tails up and gave them more oxygen in the game and made it more difficult for us to get back into it.
“We’re massively disappointed. We knew it was going to be difficult with the pitch and their style of play, they get in about you. We didn’t perform and were left wanting a bit in that department in terms of second balls and really competing against their style.”
Celtic have to move on quickly – nothing is won in October
Yesterday was perhaps the biggest blow we’ve suffered under Lenny. It was a shocking result and a performance that deserved everything it got – nothing.
The message at half-time was effectively on show for Livi’s opener. It was Kristoffer Ajer who tried to step out and force Livi to open up. However, he dallied on the ball and it eventually led to the opener.
Celtic tried to force the issue at Livi. Yes, we should’ve been more threatening with 10 men. Yes, Ryan Christie shouldn’t have flew into a challenge on Robinson. But it was one bad result. One bad day in a season where we likely can’t afford too many.
However, the international break, however frustrating it is, will hopefully allow us to recharge and get back to basics. When Rangers beat us 1-0 back in December 2018 to go level on points with us, the break proved to be huge for us.
Celtic ended up going on an eight-game winning run that built us up a substantial lead at the top of the Premiership. The same must be done this time around.
When we return to action, we have eight extremely winnable games. The toughest on paper is Aberdeen away, but with the way they’re performing, we should be more than confident going there and putting on a performance.
The Livi result was a frustrating one. But it could be what we need to kick ourselves into gear. That may sound cliche, but there’s some truth to it. Let’s see what kind of Celtic we see post-internationals.