Callum McGregor issues Celtic apology as he calls for prospect on Kilmarnock draw


Callum McGregor is adamant Celtic will remain calm following their setback at Kilmarnock.The Parkhead side left Rugby Park frustrated over sending two points to hosts Alex Dyer after a stuttering show.

McGregor and his teammates were in pole position to ensure success after being quickly led by a free kick from Ryan Christie, but a lack of cruelty on both ends of the pitch meant they had to settle for a point.

Defensively, mistakes were costly as Christopher Jullien’s unnecessary foul on Nicke Kabamba in the penalty area allowed Chris Burke to score an equalizer.

At the other end of the pitch, McGregor and his colleagues failed to open Kilie’s back line for a winner and the result saw Celtic lose their place atop the Premiership.

However, with just 180 campaign minutes played, the midfielder insists there has to be a sense of hindsight on the outcome.

McGregor said sorry to the punters who had watched in frustration at home.

But he also believes that staying cool in times of
disappointment, as Celtic has done on several occasions in the past, is the key to the future.

McGregor said, “Yeah, exactly. There is a lot of football to be played. This does not prevent us from being poor. We understand this and take responsibility for it as a group. We apologize to the fans for dropping the points, but the message is to stay calm.

“Another day you stall it and everything is rosy in the garden, but it was one of those days and you have to take the criticism and move on.

“If you’re too excited in one way or another, that can always change quickly. “

McGregor has been around Glasgow and Celtic long enough to know that a disappointing result allows for in-depth analysis from outside the camp. The performance of Lennon’s squad will be scrutinized by supporters who desperately need their heroes to clinch the Championship flag this quarter for a tenth consecutive time and make history.

McGregor and his teammates will also be looking at aspects of the Ayrshire show that need to be improved.

When asked if it was important not to think too much after the 1-1 draw, he replied: “I think so. You can easily get bogged down and start digging too many holes.

“We know where we went wrong, the final pass and the little bit of quality was missing and we never defended well, but we have to stay positive.

“There is a lot of football to be played. It was frustrating, of course. This is the second game
and we lost points and we gave ourselves work.

“In terms of performance it was not good enough of us, but we get a point, we have to take it and move on.

“We certainly need to learn from this. There were probably some spells in the game where we were dominant in terms of possession and pinning them, but it was probably just missing that last bit of quality.

“We just never got there.

“It’s something we’re going to look at as a group and start over. It’s disappointing but we have to get up.

“You get days like this where it doesn’t suit you. You then have to keep the back door closed and that gives you half a chance.

“We are disappointed earlier and we know we were disappointed, but we are going to review it and leave for Wednesday.”

Manager Lennon declined to point fingers at Jullien for his blunder on the conceded penalty that Burke sank to deny Celtic the win and McGregor adopted the same tact.

He said: “It’s a team game, everyone takes responsibility for the performance and the results, and when they don’t go the way we want, we look at both ends of the pitch and see where we can do. better.

“We’re going to sit down and talk about it as a group.”

Such is the relentless nature of the Premiership tenure, the Celtic have an immediate opportunity to rectify their mistake as they travel to face
St Mirren in Paisley Wednesday evening.

McGregor is thrilled that the troops have the chance to get straight back into the groove against Jim Goodwin’s side as they aim to avoid early season slips in the tense title race.

He said: “We will try to get as many points as possible and that’s a good thing in football. You always have the option of rectifying it fairly quickly.

“We’re taking stock and looking where we can be better and we need to show a reaction.

“There was obviously a big break. You can watch the preseason and the fitness work has been great, but you don’t quite get that sharpness of the game until you get into the games and find that little extra.

“It’s early, but we always put pressure on ourselves to perform well and win every game, so when that doesn’t happen we look at it and try to rectify it for the next game.

“There’s another game on Wednesday, so we get up and start over. “


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