IF Callum McGregor continues on the silverware trail until the season’s conclusion on June 3 – the scheduled date for the Scottish Cup Final – he will be a mere three honours away from matching his legendary predecessor Scott Brown.
Celtic’s 29-year-old onfield leader picked up his 17th winners’ medal when he made it a perfect 10 out of 10 in Cup Final appearances as he guided the champions to their Viaplay League Cup success on Sunday, as CQNreported.
As anticipated, McGregor went about his job quietly and effectively in the team’s engine room as he kept things ticking over and he played a crucial role in the build-up to the second and match winning goal netted by Kyogo Furuhashi in the 56th minute.
NICK OF TIME…Callum McGregor in a tussle for possession with Ryan Kent.
The Scotland international anchorman enjoyed the Parkhead club’s phenomenal quadruple treble achievement with Brown in charge of the captain’s armband as the Hoops swept all before them.
The wheels came off in unexpected and spectacular fashion when the bid for a historic tenth successive championship was blown by the turn of the year in 2021 as the team failed to win a solitary trophy for the first time in 11 years.
Neil Lennon departed, John Kennedy took over for the final 10 games of a wretched campaign, Ange Postecoglou was appointed manager in June, Brown quit for an ill-fated player-coach stint at Aberdeen and McGregor took over the armband.
Normal service was resumed last season as the crown returned to the east end of Glasgow with the League Cup already in the trophy room before 2022 was upon us.
The Scottish Cup was the one that got away and Celtic have an intriguing quarter-final tie against Hearts at Tynecastle a week on Saturday to look forward to as they attempt to correct the oversight.
JOY BHOYS…Callum McGregor and Greg Taylor celebrate a second successive League Cup victory.
McGregor will be in his usual midfield berth when the title kings go to Paisley on Sunday for the midday kick-off against St Mirren as they sit with a nine-point advantage and 12 games to play.
Boss Postecoglou is delighted with his skipper’s contribution to the rebirth of the club and said: “Yeah, he is and it’s a credit to himself and his family.
“When you’re part of a winning team, it gives you belief and confidence that you can go there again and do it again. But to do it as a leader adds an extra dimension.
“He’s followed a fantastic skipper in Scott Brown and I’m sure he saw how he dealt with success, which is important. It’s not just about attaining success, it’s about what you do when you have the success.
“You can see with Callum that he’s still very, very measured in the way he embraces what comes his way.”
VICTORY PARADE…the triumphant Celtic players enjoy their Cup Final win.
Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “He understands that his role in it is to be the leader of a collective effort and to never allow himself or the group to get too far ahead of themselves.
“That’s the most pleasing thing for me. I said after his 400th game that he trains every day like he’s got something to prove.
“That’s a hallmark for me of an outstanding leader.”