CALLUM McGREGOR has the qualities to take over from Aberdeen-bound Scott Brown – but he could do with a little help from his friends.
That’s the verdict of former Celtic onfield leader Paul Lambert who has been impressed by the 27-year-old skipper-in-waiting, despite the team enduring a horrendous campaign.
McGregor, who has made more than 300 appearances for the team, is the current vice-captain and is ready to make the step up on a permanent basis.
Lambert said: “I think he needs a bit of help. From the outside looking in, the lad’s carried Celtic on his shoulders and he’s done brilliant.
“He’s done great for Scotland, but all of a sudden he hits a brick wall.
“You’re looking over your shoulder and thinking: ‘Where are my team-mates?’ There’s one or two of these Celtic players who have been playing hide and seek.
“They’re not turning up. You’re playing for Celtic, it’s an institution.
THE OLD ONE-TWO…Callum McGregor and Scott Brown proudly parade the Scottish Cup as Celtic complete the quadruple treble at Hampden in December.
“It’s not a club where you can think: ‘I can go easy’ or ‘I can lose a game here or there’.”
Lambert, speaking to BBC Sportsound added: “I watched the Old Firm game on Sunday, and some of them there would be better just leaving.
“Celtic will get rid of them and some of them won’t actually be good enough to go where they think they’re going to go.
“You’re only as good as a team that wants you and I think they’ve let themselves down.
“I’m not criticising them all, but what I saw on Sunday wasn’t good enough.”
McGregor has been a mainstay at the club, but his visits to Ibrox this season have been memorable for all the wrong reasons – he scored an own goal for the only strike of the game on January 2 and he was red-carded inside half-an-hour in the 4-1 flop at the weekend.
He could come roaring back in fine style in the new campaign – with his team-mates rallying round the flag.