CALLUM McGREGOR was a winner AND a sinner in Celtic’s encouraging Europa League Group G 2-0 triumph over Ferencvaros at Parkhead yesterday.
The cultured midfielder put in an eye-catching performance – arguably his finest display since taking the captain’s armband from Scott Brown at the start of the season – and was instrumental in so many good things on show against dangerous opponents.
The only blemish during an otherwise praiseworthy outing was his penalty-kick miss just after the hour mark which would have doubled the team’s advantage following Kyogo Furuhashi’s opener shortly beforehand.
McGregor was denied when Hungarian keeper Demes Dibusz threw himself to his left to beat away the attempt to leave the 28-year-old skipper disappointed.
TAKING AIM…Callum McGregor prepares to hit his penalty-kick.
SAVED…Callum McGregor watches as Ferencvaros keeper Demes Dibusz dives to push away his spot-kick.
But the Scotland international has revealed he will be more than ready to take the next spot-kick if he is required.
McGregor said: “It’s one of those things, everyone misses penalties at some point in their career. I just need to try and put it behind me and try to score the next one.
“It’s good to get that first win in the group. It was an excellent performance and I thought we dominated throughout. We had loads of chances, so it is a great night for us. It’s brilliant for the supporters, as well, after they had turned out in their numbers for a difficult time. We have to thank them for their effort.”
McGregor, speaking to The Scotsman, added: “The manager keeps saying we are a new bunch of players, but we have a real bond in the dressing room.
ACTION MAN…Callum McGregor was a stand-out against Ferencvaros.
“I have spoken about it before, if you get success then it brings everyone closer together. I think the boys recognise how good the pass was from Jota to Kyogo and then he does what he does by putting it away.
“It’s great to get another clean sheet. We have spoken about it and we want to have more control of games. In the moments when we had to defend, I think we did it excellently.
“Young Tony Ralston made a brilliant block at a vital time. It is a step in the right direction, but we have to keep working hard.”
McGregor more than atoned for his spot-kick miss when he snapped into a challenge and sent Jota clear to set up the second goal nine minutes from the end.
The on-loan Benfica winger picked out David Turnbull who should have buried it, but he fluffed his lines and the ball eventually landed in the net courtesy of the shin of a rival defender.