The Celtic star has released a strong statement after the club’s disastrous 2-0 defeat at home against the Rangers in the Glasgow Derby.
Everyone is down and flat after Saturday’s disappointing defeat. But at least some Celtic players have opened up publicly about the poor performance and the need to fix things internally at the club.
It’s a very open and public owning up after the match by Callum McGregor reported by Glasgow Live. He taIks about the team, but it’s after the debacle and by no means a leak.
McGregor rightly doesn’t try to offer any excuses, nor is he diverting attention on to other issues. He admits Rangers deserved to win but remains adamant the team can recover and come back, as they did last season. For many fans although last season’s December defeat was hard to swallow, this one feels worse. So any crumbs of comfort offered by McGregor may be invaluable but may take time to be accepted.
The vice captain is clearly hurting and knows fans are too. He accepts it will be a painful post match period and the focus will be very much in the club, management and players:
“I’m standing here disappointed right now and there’s no getting away from that. It’s a game we’ve lost at home to our biggest rivals and we can’t hide away from that. We know how bad a result it is.
“The fans will be frustrated and as players we’re hugely disappointed. They have every right to point fingers and we have to accept that because in these games the bigger picture is never seen. There will be a massive reaction and we have to deal with that.
“When you lose a derby game there are questions asked and we have to face up to that.
“We did it in December and kicked on from there.”
As to solutions and how to recover there is clearly plenty to be done. Many wild rumours, suggestions and comments are rife on social media. Change managers, drop players, abandon the much requested three at the back formation.
Those are all to be expected really as the disappointment and anger at the performance continues to be paramount in fans minds. We’ll have to hope there is a firm, positive and productive set of actions underway at Celtic, less knee jerk but still making a real difference. McGregor added his own thoughts and perhaps adds a note indicating for fans to remain patient:
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“What I would say is that we have to stay calm and we have to stay together. The sooner we can get [the fans] back into the stadiums too, the better, as they are a massive help to us.
“We have to keep the faith, trust the team and trust the manager and what we’re doing.
“It’s up to the experienced boys, manager and backroom staff to get around them and stick together.”
He did then reference the need to look within the club to get things changed:
“Internally we have to sort a few things and then we kick on. We really need to put our foot to the floor and the good thing is we have a massive game on Thursday to get up and running again.”
McGregor’s earlier comments don’t show any indication of a broken dressing room nor revolt against the manager. He may just be indicating the players need to get this worked through and do better than Saturday, rather than it being his signal that all is not well.
The next series of matches are pretty critical in the season, and to complete last seasons Scottish Cup. They could be pretty critical too in establishing a satisfactory performance level at both team level and for some individuals. Much needs to improve from Saturday for sure.