Callum McGregor: Adjustments needed ahead of next match

Callum McGregor scored Celtic’s only goal of the game on Saturday afternoon at Parkhead in our underwhelming 1-1 draw with Motherwell, and revealed afterwards that he and his teammates will be working hard in training this week to make things right for our next fixture against theRangers on Sunday.

It was a terribly frustrating game that played out exactly how the visiting team would have liked; the game was laborious and irritatingly slow for large parts and they wasted so much time by feigning injury throughout the whole affair. Tight and frugle at the backline, the Bhoys just couldn’t get through again despite a glorious chance from Hyeongyu Oh from close range that went begging at one point.

Celtic v Motherwell – cinch Premiership – Hyeongyu Oh misses a fine chance during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Saturday April 22, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

We severely lacked that cutting edge that Jota, Liel Abada, and Reo Hatate bring to proceedings and it was in stark view in that Scottish Premiership clash with Stuart Kettlewell and his team. Although they played there game to a tee, we really should have upped the ante in the second half but got caught on the counter-attack with Kevin van Veen – who gave Greg Taylor a nightmare, leading to an uncharacteristic mistake from the left-back which led to the Dutchman’s goal.

It let them back into the game and from thereon in, they just settled deeper and deeper into a defensive shape and saw the rest of the game out for a draw by diving about and time-wasting which the partisan John Beaton largely let them away with. However, captain Callum McGregor has insisted that it wasn’t anywhere near our usual standard and that it will be corrected ahead of our Scottish Cup Semi-final clash with our Glasgow rivals this coming Sunday.

Speaking after Saturday’s game, the Celtic captain said: “It was probably quite bitty in spells. I thought in the first-half we were decent enough. Obviously we got the goal and then probably the most disappointing thing was that we didn’t kill the game with a second one, and we had chances throughout the first-half and second-half.

“Then we lost a sloppy goal on a counter-attack which was really disappointing, and probably overall we just lacked a wee bit of quality. We spoke about it at half-time, that when you don’t get the second one, it just gives them life in the game and anything can happen, a set-play or a counter-attack, and they’re always in the game, so for us, that’s the disappointing aspect – that we don’t kill the game when we go ahead.

“All we can do now is try and put it right this week in training and then obviously leading into the weekend. We got a few big games to go and we have to give our absolute maximum so that when we look back at the end of the season, then this is a blip and we’ve learned from it.”

Paul Gillespie

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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