CALLUM McGREGOR insists Celtic will learn from the frustrating 1-1 draw against Motherwell when the champions forfeited their 100 per cent home record this season.
It’s back to the drawing board for the Celtic captain and his team-mates as they prepare for the Scottish Cup semi-final encounter against Michael Beale’s Ibrox outfit at Hampden a week today.
McGregor thumped the Hoops into the lead midway through the first-half against the Fir Park side, but remarkably slack defending allowed Kevin van Veen to grab an equaliser 10 minutes after the break.
CAPTAIN’S ROLE…Callum McGregor (extreme left) fires in the Celtic goal as the ball sweeps beyond Liam Kelly.
Kyogo Furuhashi, Oh Hyeon-gyu and Carl Starfelt passed to opportunities to restore the hosts’ advantage as the match stumbled to its disappointing conclusion.
The inspirational midfield leader said: “Football can bring you back down to earth when you think you are doing well. That’s what it does. If you drop your standards, that’s what can happen.
“Hopefully. come the end of next week, that’s what this will have been – just a blip.
“It’s one of those days when, if you ever think you are getting too far ahead of yourself, it refocuses the group.
“That’s what we need to do and it’s down to us. It was disappointing because the fans were excellent and stayed with us. We need to repay that next weekend.
“It’s a disappointment when we drop points at home as we want to be really dominant. We will look at the game and find the reasons why we didn’t quite get the job done.
“Then we will hammer home the principles that have got us where we are.”
THAT’S MY BHOY…Carl Starfelt congratulates Callum McGregor after the skipper’s strike.
McGregor, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “We won’t make excuses. We came away from our structure a little bit and the review of the game will show that.
“It was just an off day in terms of our quality. This is probably one of the only times when we haven’t managed to find a solution in the game.
“We have come through a lot of these matches where we have got a last-minute goal or done enough to win. We didn’t do that and the disappointing thing was the way we lost the goal.
“We have big games to go and we need to apply those lessons into them. The next game is the biggest one now and we will approach that with full focus.”
The champions are 13 points ahead as they prepare to discover their next five fixtures with the Govan club, Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs and St Mirren all cementing places in the top six.
However, the focus will come off the pursuit for the team’s second successive crown – Celtic’s eleventh in 12 years – to switch to the national stadium next weekend.
Victory will ensure a place in the grand finale on Saturday June 3 where the Hoops’ opponents will be either Championship Inverness Caley Thistle or third-tier Falkirk, who play their last-four tie 24 hours earlier.