Callum McGregor urges Celtic to keep their concentration

Celtic v Bodo/Glimt – UEFA Europa Conference League – Last 16 – First Leg – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Celtic captain Callum McGregor admitted they had to overcome their naivety in Europe after going down to a 3-1 home defeat by Bodo/Glimt.

The Hoops conceded early in both halves of the first leg of the Europa Conference League knockout-round play-off.

Celtic Park erupted in noise when Daizen Maeda headed a lifeline in the 79th minute but the stadium half-emptied two minutes later when the home side conceded a deflected effort from 25 yards.

Celtic were involved in some end-to-end encounters in the Europa League group stage with their six games yielding 28 goals but they never truly got their attacking game going against the Norwegian champions despite ample possession.

McGregor told BT Sport: “It is always difficult when you go a goal behind so early in the game and then you have a mountain to climb in that sense but I still thought we had enough in the game.

“We created enough situations around the box, just that last bit of quality was probably missing.

“You see even when we get the goal, you think we get the ascendancy but we concede straight away and that sort of kills us again.

“If the game finishes 2-1 then we have  a real good chance. That is the naivety that we have still got at this level in terms of being a new group.

“So we have to learn from that, we will do the analysis and learn that you always have to switch on. As soon as you score that is probably when you are the most vulnerable.”

McGregor added: “We got into good situations and the final pass or the actions weren’t quite there in terms of the quality that we have  been used to in the last couple of weeks.

“Again that shows that we have a lot of learning to do when it comes to these big games. We have got to step up and in that final moment when it counts they got three goals because of their quality.

“But for me, there is enough in the game that suggests we can go there and turn it around so we have to stay positive, stay calm,  and  try to turn it around.”

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