Callum McGregor became the 20th club captain to win the league for Celtic and like Ange Postecoglou he’s pulled that off on the first time of asking. The Celtic and PFA Scotland Player of the Year certainly deserves all the praise that’s coming his way for the manner in which he’s led the club on and off the park, contributing hugely to getting Celtic back off our knees after last season’s shambles, staying around when others decided to leave, and there would have been much more money on offer elsewhere for McGregor’s services, and coming back from a serious facial injury to wear that mask in the 3-0 win over theRangers at the start of February, an iconic image of the season and one that sums up McGregor’s commitment to the club.
Already he’s an outstanding Celtic captain and a club legend and he’s just getting started. Here’s what Callum was saying to BBC Sportsound on Saturday afternoon after lifting the trophy following the 6-0 win over Motherwell, who really did get the short straw having to come and face the rampant Champions on a day when any opposition in the league would have been swept aside.
Scenes at Celtic Park as Ange Postecoglou’s side lift the Scottish Premiership trophy! 🥳🙌🤩🏆 pic.twitter.com/ZiaoCWqoEv
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) May 14, 2022
Q: You’ve experienced many highs at this club, how does this one compare off the backdrop of what happened last season?
Callum McGregor: “Yeah, I think it’s right up there. Possibly the best one. To rebuild this group of players and rebuild a new team in 10-11 months… all the hard work, all the dedication that everybody at the club put in to make this happen. It’s a special, special day.”
Q: Is that because all the players bought in from day one to what Ange Postecoglou is trying to do here?
Callum McGregor: “Absolutely. This type of football doesn’t work if you don’t buy in – and buy in 100 per cent. He’s always talking about that, that the players need to be 100 per cent, and the boys have done that. They’ve carried out his gameplan, his vision to a tee that’s why we’re champions.”
Q: How special a manager is he? What is it that makes him quite unique in a sense?
Callum McGregor: “Just the way he carries himself, the way he speaks. He has authority and he’s obviously a clever guy as well. Tactically he understands football and he really motivates the players so I think that’s a perfect mix for a top manager – and that’s what he is.”
Q: I’m not sure how much time you’re getting off because of Scotland duty as well but you’ll need a little bit of rest and recuperation before you start again… what, maybe just three or four weeks back at training maybe?
Callum McGregor: “Yeah, exactly. A week’s enough for me! I’ll lie on a beach somewhere next week and enjoy that then there are some massive games coming up internationally. We want to get the country back to a major tournament so that’s my full focus now.”
Q: Do you get the feeling that the planning has already started for next season in terms of Celtic… some players have less but in terms coming in, you’ll need to strengthen?
Callum McGregor: “Yeah, absolutely. I think the foundation is now there to build on and I think we have to. It’s been a successful season with a lot of challenges within that as well but we’ve put ourselves in a good place and we’ve got a solid foundation so it’s really important that everyone at the club builds on this now as well.”
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