Saturday, January 28, 2023

‘It would take a monumental collapse’ McGregor insists no one can grudge Celtic

Scottish PremiershipCeltic'It would take a monumental collapse' McGregor insists no one can grudge Celtic
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Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor, has insisted that no one can grudge Celtic if the SPFL follow suit of the French – as he says it would also take a ‘monumental collapse’ by Celtic if the season was resumed.

France was the first league in Europe to declare their league leaders, PSG, as champions – despite McGregor holding out hope of winning it out on the pitch – if the season is finished Celtic are clearly worthy champions.

McGregor said: “Ideally everyone at the club wants to finish the season on the pitch. We want to play the games.

“We were galvanised after Dubai, you could see that winning mentality come to the fore. We were beating teams 4-0 or 5-0 and everyone was in such a good vein of form.

“It would take a monumental collapse from our side of things for us to throw it away. So I don’t think anyone could grudge us the title if that decision has to be made.

“I certainly feel like we would be worthy champions if the games can’t be played.

“You just need to look at our form and results and the way we were blowing teams away.

“With eight games to go, we felt we had a chance to extend our 13-point lead at the top.

“Considering our form and attitude, we feel there was even more to come from us.

“But if the season has to be called at this point, I feel we would be deserving champions.

“We are desperate to play and get the chance to finish off a really good campaign.

“You can’t describe the feeling of lifting the trophy in front of 60,000 fans at Celtic Park.

“You play football for moments like that.

“It’s why you put the hard yards in, to have that day of celebration in front of your support.

“You don’t want to be robbed of such a moment, so of course we want to play the games.

“But there also has to be perspective. It’s a horrendous situation right now.

“There is a bigger picture out there and everyone’s health and safety is obviously the main priority.”

About isolation, and the break which it has given from football is well needed, he said: “The mental break is welcome when you’ve been playing close to 70 games for the last three or four seasons.

“Physically, you must stay in good condition. That never stops.

“But the training in the gym isn’t the same as playing three high-pressure games a week.

“European games, semi-finals, finals, massive league games — that’s a different type of challenge.

“You are playing sport at elite level and, at Celtic, you always have to win. A draw is a bad result, defeat is a disaster.

“You need to programme your brain to go every three days.

“The one benefit from football being suspended is that you do get a longer break mentally.

“I can only speak for myself, but I am already desperate to get back. It might reignite the spark in some players.

“I think you’ll see a lot of refreshed players when football returns — there will be guys running 15km a game!”

As everyone is, they are finding other ways to spend their time and McGregor is no different.

He said: “I am staying away from Netflix during the day. I don’t want to spend all my time on the couch.

“I bought a laptop and I have started collecting information from the last four years of my career.

“I am looking at training sessions and coaching ideas. I have the time now, so I felt it would be good to start that.

“I’ve taken in a lot of info in the last few years and I’m hoping to put it all in a document.

“I am just trying to keep my mind busy with different things.

“Coaching probably is something I will look to get into one day, as I like the tactical side.

“I like thinking about players’ positions and how the team functions within certain systems.

“If I can process all the good information I’ve taken in over the years, I can then learn how to implement it.

“That’s a long way away.

“I am totally focused on playing but, at a time like this, I want to take the chance to frame it all in my mind.

“I have a gym at home now. It was quite fortunate timing, as it was installed two days before the call-off.

“I decided to do it to help with my recovery-based work, as that’s important when you are playing three games a week.

“I got the flooring down and I’ve got a rowing machine, a treadmill and a Keiser bike.

“I had everything there. It was good timing and it’s been pretty useful over the last six weeks.”

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