NEIL LENNON has hailed Celtic’s Marathon Man Callum McGregor.

The 27-year-old Scotland international will take his place in the midfield against Hamilton Accies this afternoon as the champions aim for another victory as they play catch up in the race for their tenth successive title.

The pressure has been unrelenting on McGregor, but, as he displayed in the Scottish Cup Final extra-time and spot-kick saga against Hearts at Hampden a week ago, he is showing no sign of slacking.

He carried the form into the 2-0 win over Ross County three days later and he will hit the ground running again today against Brian Rice’s side.

Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I thought Callum was superb against Ross County. After 120 minutes and a penalty shoot-out against Hearts, he just goes again.

“His second-half performance against County was exemplary. We deserved to score more and Callum is so pivotal to everything we do.

“His game is outstanding and he is a real leader for us. When Scott Brown doesn’t play, Callum is the captain and that’s because he is a model professional.

“His attitude and work-rate is why he is so successful. He works at his game, he looks after himself physically and he has improved a lot over the years.

“Year in year out, he gets better. It’s been a difficult year for them all, but Callum has really stood out at times.

“His record is testament to how fit he is. He does all his conditioning work to avoid injuries. His consistency levels are incredible.”

Looking at his team’s dodgy defensive displays in a rollercoaster campaign where the manager has used three keepers in rookie Conor Hazard, £4.5million Greek international Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain, Lennon added: “We have conceded too many goals this season. Way too many.

“It’s been off the scale from what I have been used to and that’s an area we have to improve on. But I was pleased with the defence against Ross County. It was a good clean sheet.

“It was good to get a win to start the Christmas period. We just want to keep the squad bubbling over now.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Hamilton Accies v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.


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