The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Hoops’ extra huddle showed ‘togetherness’ explains new captain
Callum McGregor has explained that his postmatch 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 tonight, 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, 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 was just a 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
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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 superfocused, 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.”
Meanwhile, Postecoglu admits the possibility of Odsonne Edouard leaving Celtic for free will concern the Parkhead club.
The 23-year-old signed from Paris St Germain in 2018 for a reported fee of £9 million after an initial loan spell at the Glasgow club and his contract is up at the end of the season.
Despite speculation linking the French striker with Brighton, Hoops boss Postecoglou is not aware of any bids.
Reports claim Edouard is prepared to let his contract expire, leaving him free to speak to other clubs in January, and the former Australia boss admits the prospect of losing such a valuable asset for nothing will be a worry for the club.
Postecoglou said: “I think you are right in saying that is a club concern rather than my concern right now.
“No, (I’m) concerned at all.
“If it means he stays here and contributes then so be it, but again that is stuff that I am not really spending too much time thinking about.” not