CALLUM McGREGOR accepts more responsibility inevitably follows the promotion to captain of Celtic.
However, the 28-year-old successor to Scott Brown’s armband insists he has always been aware of the traditions of the club and the relentless drive to maintain exceptionally high standards and demands.
The Scotland international midfielder has eased into the driving seat as has been witnessed in the past five successes with 18 goals scored as the Hoops get used to the tactics and systems of new manager Ange Postecoglou.
CHEERLEADER…captain Callum McGregor applauds the Celtic support.
Unfortunately, the turnaround in bringing in new players and switching the playing style has come too late to prevent the club from losing out in the Champions League, but the team have a two-goal advantage to take to the Netherlands on Thursday for the second leg of their Europa League play-off final against AZ Alkmaar.
McGregor is up for the challenges that are ahead and, speaking exclusively to the new-look Celtic View, the onfield leader said: “Obviously, when you have the tag attached to it, it becomes more of a statement of responsibility and you have to take on that role.
“I just try to keep leading in the way that I have done alongside Scott before and now I will be the man to take those responsibilities. It’s another challenge for me, as well, the next stage in my development as a person and as a player, so it’s something to which I am looking forward.
“It’s something every player should do anyway in terms of having that responsibility of being a first-team player. You become responsible for the results of the team and your part within the team, so it’s an obvious responsibility, but more so when you have the title of being the captain – more of it falls on you.
“But, as a professional footballer anyway, you get used to the dealing with the expectation to win and setting standards within the building which can drive a winning culture.
“It’s just about me trying to put my own spin on things. I’ve got enough experience now – I’ve played at tournaments internationally, I’ve played at a high level in European terms for the past seven or eight years now, so I’ve got enough experience within myself – I know what’s right and what’s wrong, so it’s about me trying to help our younger players to have the same pathway that I’ve had.
“It’s now up to us as experienced players to show the standards and level required and we have more than enough experience in the building now to do that.”
McGregor will pilot the team again for the ninth time this season when St Mirren are the visitors to Parkhead tomorrow afternoon with another three crucial Premiership points up for grabs.
Expect the Glaswegian, committed to the cause, to once again display his leadership qualities.
* THE new 100-page monthly Celtic View magazine is out now, priced £5.99, and available in Celtic retail outlets and online.