Odsonne Edward said Celtic choice that Callum McGregor is lifting the lid on the Lennoxtown is back to normal

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It is a little strange to all alumni of the school and changing in the parking lot, but Callum McGregor is just happy that some things have remained the same at Lennoxtown. Celtic got back to business this week, and training at a distance, but the midfielder was delighted to see some familiar faces.

McGregor relished the friends reunited routine, but Odsonne Edouard in his Hoops gear is a feast for the eyes and hear the French talking up its commitment to the 10-in-a-row bid was music to his ears.

The frontman is attracting interest from England and Europe as a whole, but after having picked up the Player of the Year award last week, he admitted that his heart is set on staying at Parkhead.

McGregor has no feelings about getting beaten to the gong – and it is a great bonus for the attacker on the board of directors in view of the next target. The Scotland star said: “It is a huge boost to hear that he wants to remain. It is a huge club just now anyway.

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“So, I don’t think he should be in too big a rush to go. It has a huge platform to show what he can do this season. He won the Player of the Year award last week and it is so important to what we’re trying to do.

“This is good news to learn that he wants to stay as well. The fact that he did not come back in France during the lockout speaks volumes in terms of where he is mentally. He seems to be happy at the club. We have a great locker room.

“Everything we have achieved has come through solidarity. Everyone in the building is the friends.

“It is evident that he feels comfortable and he knows he plays at a high level. When you are happy in the football, it’s a big decision to change.”

McGregor and Edward remained beyond arms length to Lennoxtown, but there was room for a small toast to the title, Celtic have been awarded in isolation. The playmaker said: “It was nice to see the boys, the staff and the manager.

“It was the first time that we have been together since the title has been confirmed that it was good to get a chat and a bit of laughter and to feel the sense of being together again. It is great to be back and to have a runabout on the grass and to start the search for your fitness. Hopefully we can progress that in the coming weeks.”

It is nice to be back, but the new normal is going to take some getting used to. The changing rooms are still out of bounds, such as the gym, and it is a matter of turning in a full training course, the clothes, the throwing on the boots and off you go.

McGregor won’t complain if. After 12 weeks, as far as he is concerned, it is better than nothing.

He said: “It is fantastic to be back in and do that routine to return to be on the grass. I had not seen some of the guys for a while so it is great to see. It was nice to have that feeling of being back at it.

“Obviously, there are some restrictions in place. You are still pretty much training on your own make your own with your ball. But at least it is a step in the right direction towards the achievement of football, which is what everyone wants.

“The protocols that are in place mean the building is closed. If you prepare it at home, drive to the training, to put on your boots and go out on the field. When you have finished, it is roughly the same change in your boots, back in the car and back to the house.

“The protocols are in place to try to keep everyone as safe as possible. We hope that in the next few weeks, we can begin to ramp up, as long as everything is done safely.”

McGregor admitted the long lay-off was a shock to the system. The 27-year-old has been one of the busiest players in Europe in the last three seasons where there is hardly a pause for breath.




It is a soft landing in Scotland, with the Premiership campaign should start on the 1st of August and still not a word on the Champions League qualification.

What is clear, it is this coming season, not having the usual battle to get back into shape in the first rounds.

Celtic have been forced to go before the national campaign is launched and there is always a risk of being caught cold. McGregor, believes this time they will be fully up to the speed of execution of the group stage.

He said: “It has been a long break and a good many of our boys are not to be used for this. Therefore, it will probably take a bit of time to get back to match sharpness or something like that.

“The break has been forced on us, but we have now a long enough period to ensure that everybody’s body is right. This means that we can slowly progress.

“Let’s hope that this time, everyone will have an eight, nine, 10-week lead-in games starting.

“We can move forward, gradually, and come August, we should be in a good place to be ready to go.”

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