Callum McGregor wants ‘perfect’ Celtic performance against Bodo/Glimt

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

Captain Callum McGregor believes Celtic need to find their version of perfect to get past Bodo/Glimt on Thursday night.

The Hoops fell to a shock 3-1 defeat to the Norwegian champions in the first leg of their Europa Conference League knockout round play-off at Celtic Park last week.

Ahead of the trip to the Aspmyra Stadion for the return game, the Scotland midfielder considered the task ahead.

He said: “I still stick by the fact that had we been a little bit better in terms of quality when we got around the box then I think the game was ours for the taking.

“Of course we have to respect the opponent. It was a good result for them last week and we have to be pretty much perfect tomorrow night to make it through the tie but that is the challenge ahead and we have to face it head on.

“I think we have put in some pretty good performances this season.

“How you want to gauge that or what makes it perfect or what doesn’t make it perfect, obviously there is always room for improvement.

“Even if you have a great game and win 5-0 there are still areas to improve and that is what football is, it always evolves and you always have to try and get better every single game.

“So I mean in the sense if we do everything right, we defend properly and manage to turn the scoreline around, then that is pretty much perfect for us tomorrow night.”

Boss Ange Postecoglou admitted concern about the two goals conceded from set-pieces in Celtic’s 3-2 win over Dundee at Parkhead on Sunday.

However, McGregor insists too much is being made about the goals lost by the cinch Premiership leaders, who have conceded the least in the league.

He said: “We have spoken about it internally. There seems to be a hype round Celtic conceding set-piece goals or not being strong enough at set-plays or whatever the narrative is.

“But I think it is only heightened by the fact that we don’t concede too many goals at all.

“Everybody starts to analyse where the goals are coming from and it seems to be set-plays.

“That’s pretty much the only way teams are getting in the box to get chances so in a flip sense, we have defended really well, that teams are having to get set-pieces to get chances on goal.

“But I don’t want to make it into a big story that Celtic can’t defend set-plays, it is a little bit more than that.”

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