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Celtic captain Callum McGregor: Post-match pep-talk was ‘show of togetherness’

Celtic v West Ham – Pre Season Friendly – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Callum McGregor has explained his post-match pep-talk following Celtic’s 6-0 weekend thrashing of Dundee at Parkhead was designed to “show the togetherness”.

The Hoops traditionally go into a huddle before matches but, after the first home Premiership match of the season, the Celtic captain gathered the players around again for another gee-up before they applauded the supporters.

McGregor was speaking ahead of the second leg of Celtic’s Europa League qualifier against FK Jablonec on Thursday night, which Ange Postecoglou’s side lead 4-2 from the first leg in the Czech Republic.

The Scotland midfielder, who took over the armband from Scott Brown following his summer move to Aberdeen, said: “What I said to the players will remain private but it is just good to show the togetherness.

“A lot of new players were experiencing Celtic Park for the first time in a league match, a good performance, a good result.

“It is just important that they feel the importance of winning at Celtic Park in style and we just continue to work ever so hard in training, we perform as best as we possibly can in games and we try to send the supporters home happy every week if we possibly can.

“But like I said, it was just a show of togetherness.

“We always thank the fans for their support, win, lose or draw and we will always do that.”

McGregor is “absolutely buzzing” at the prospect of a full house at Celtic Park for the first time since before the pandemic.

And while he admits the pressure is “ever so slightly off”, he stressed that the Hoops will not be complacent.

He said: “We understand in football anything can happen.

“So we are super-focused, respectful to the opposition as we always are, we have looked at the game from last week where we can be better and hurt them again.

“So we are absolutely fully focused, no complacency whatsoever going into the game.

“We want to enjoy it, enjoy the atmosphere, give the supporters a right good performance, finish the job and get into the next round.”