CALLUM McGREGOR is preparing to guide Celtic through the trophy minefield over the next five games.
The inspirational captain will lead the team against Aberdeen at Parkhead on Saturday afternoon as they zero in on their second consecutive crown.
They go into the encounter against the Dons with a nine-point advantage and eight days later the champions will turn their attention to defending their League Cup trophy against Michael Beale’s Ibrox outfit at Hampden.
FOLLOW THE LEADER…Callum McGregor is in pole position as Carl Starfelt and Kyogo Furuhashi congratulate Greg Taylor on his goal in the 3-0 win over Livingston.
A week after the silverware showdown at the national stadium, it’s back to picking up league points against St Mirren in Paisley and then Hearts in Glasgow in midweek in their third Premiership meeting of the crusade against Robbie Neilson’s team.
The following weekend will see Ange Postecoglou’s men lock horns again with the Edinburgh club, this time in the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Tynecastle.
The challenges are coming thick and fast and the Dons, with ex-Celt Barry Robson in interim charge after the sacking of Jim Goodwin, will be first up to test the spirit and resolve of the Hoops.
Captain marvel McGregor remains defiant and says: “There are not too many changes in terms of personnel for Aberdeen, so, of course, they might have a slightly different idea, but for us I think it’s just important that we approach the game the way we do every other one.
“Training’s been good this week, we’re looking forward to another strong challenge, but I believe if we turn up and do a lot of good things then we should come away with three points.”
POINTING THE WAY…Callum McGregor shows who is boss.
McGregor will then turn his attention to winning his SEVENTH League Cup medal in the Viaplay Final eight days later.
The anchorman is well versed in what to expect in that particular clash and he is also looking forward to the Scottish Cup collision in the capital while attempting to win the one that got away during Postecoglou’s debut crusade.
The away ticket allocation at Tynecastle has been cut to under 1,300 in recent seasons, but Celtic could get up to 3,300 tickets and the full Roseburn Stand next month as visitors are entitled to up to 20 per cent of the spectator capacity in the national competition.
McGregor, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It’s important that we try and use that along with the game principles that we always do.
“We always try to approach the game the same way, be dominant, have the ball, impose ourselves in the game. It will be great to have more supporters in there than normal and they always back us to the hilt anyway. We’re looking forward to it.
“It will be a tough game. It’s always difficult going there, especially in a Cup-tie, a one-off game, but we’ll approach it like we do every other match.
“We have to be right on the day, you have to do a lot of good things. It’s a difficult venue, but, hopefully, we have enough to overcome it.”