DAVIE HAY has lavished praise on Callum McGregor and his emergence as a key player at Celtic.

The midfielder has fought his way into Brendan Rodgers’ reckoning and has also made the breakthrough at Scotland international level this season.

Former Celtic manager and player Hay said: “I think Scott Brown was the right call for Player of the year, but you have to give special mention to Callum McGregor and the way that he has come to the fore.

“He has gone from being a fringe player to shooting right up the pecking order. He is close to being an automatic choice and he is a player who just seems to be full of confidence at the minute.

“If you look at McGregor’s body shape two years ago and compare it to now, you’ll see a huge difference.

“He has got leaner and fitter and as player I think when you know you can rely on that, know that you have a significantly high level of fitness that it gives you tremendous confidence in a game.

“There are a number of players I think who fall into that category and, as a team, I think they are by far and away the fittest in the league.”

McGregor will be hoping to emphasis Hay’s words when he faces Hearts at Tynecastle tomorrow afternoon.

And the playmaker, who netted the fifth goal in the 5-0 hammering of Sevco Rangers last week, will be determined to fare better in the capital than he did in December.

Like the fair percentage of his team-mates on an afternoon to forget when the 69-game unbeaten domestic run came to a halt, he struggled for his best form and was hooked for Odsonne Edouard.

McGregor will want to atone this time around.

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