What the Celtic dressing-room is refusing to entertain ahead of Glasgow derby
Celtic captain Callum McGregor has stated that the Parkhead dressing-room is refusing to entertain the idea of being champions-elect heading into the Rangers game.
The Hoops are 6 points clear of their rivals with only 4 games remaining. Their advantage is that strong that even defeat on Sunday would still leave them in pole position. Granted, a victory would effectively guarantee the title is coming back to Parkhead.
For Rangers, it’s their last throw of the dice. They’ll take on Celtic knowing that anything other than a victory and their hopes are over. Many of their own support, meanwhile, have already given up hope of a comeback.
McGregor, however, has stated that the Parkhead dressing room won’t allow themselves to think about being considered champions in waiting. Instead, he states the same mentality will remain in place that has been there all season.
As quoted by BT Sport, Callum said: “No, no. We can’t think like that or speak like that. We understand there are a few games to go and we understand the meaning of the game at the weekend.
“We can take a huge step towards it if we perform well and get a victory. That’s the full focus. The reason we’ve been successful is we’ve taken each game as it’s come and given 100 percent in that game. That’s what we’ll do at the weekend.
“Obviously it’s a huge game. But we also have to stay calm and commit to the way we want to play. We didn’t do ourselves justice in the semi-final, so it’s as much about trying to rectify that. If we do that and put in a strong performance, everyone else will have a great day.”
Nothing but total concentration will see Celtic past Rangers
Supporters are allowed to get over-confident. It’s part of our DNA. But that isn’t something that should ever be allowed to stretch over to the first-team.
Thankfully, that’s not something we really need to bother about with this Celtic group. They’ll know the threats posed by Rangers. You can only imagine the 2-1 semi-final defeat at Hampden a fortnight ago will be on their minds too.
The truth is, if we start thinking about being complacent and arrogant about our position, that’s when we’ll end up losing it. That’s when we’ll get stung and potentially put ourselves in an extremely dangerous situation. All in a careless fashion too.
Sure, McGregor isn’t going to come out and say he thinks the title is won. But he could easily be giving soundbites that point towards it. He could be talking about how the players know it’s almost over. How they know they have the beating of their rivals. There are plenty of things McGregor could be saying here that would pull up red flags.
Instead, he’s the picture of total respect and professionalism. That’s the only approach that’s going to see us past Rangers this Sunday. Perhaps we were a touch over-confident heading into the Hampden game. Celtic Park, however, should be a different prospect entirely.
With the fans behind them and all of the rewards on offer, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be going into this anything other than fully focused.