THE applause and euphoria had barely time to fade in the east end of Glasgow on Saturday when Celtic skipper Callum McGregor was looking ahead to “the biggest game of the season”.
The inspirational Hoops skipper coaxed and cajoled his team-mates through the minefield of a Glasgow derby to emerge triumphant with three crucial points following a 3-2 victory.
When others around him were inexplicably giving the ball away with alarming regularity, McGregor was the master of control and possession.
THAT’S MY BHOY…Callum McGregor congratulates Kyogo Furuhashi after one of his vital goals in the 3-2 win.
Making his 31st appearance in this fixture, the thorough professional rarely put a foot wrong or sent a pass astray as he played a captain’s role yet again to inspire his colleagues to get the job done.
While the 29-year-old Scotland international patrolled the middle of the park, Kyogo Furuhashi twice showed everyone examples of his electrifying reflexes and finishing prowess while Filipe Jota also demonstrated his eye for a chance and the ability to pounce and punish slackness in opponents.
Celebrations among the supporters were about to get into full swing in readiness of another Green Party at the end of the season when McGregor was looking towards Rugby Park and the encounter with Kilmarnock on Sunday.
The champions require three wins from their remaining seven games and the influential Hoops anchorman said: “We’re now 12 points clear and starting to run out of games.
“It was a big game [against the Ibrox side], we knew the consequence of it and we’ve come out on the right side of it which has put us in a good position. However, nothing is won yet.
“We still have games to go and Sunday becomes the biggest game of the season for us. That’s what professional football is about.”
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS…Callum McGregor attempts to retrieve the ball from Nicolas Raskin whose head looks dangerously in proximity to that of the Celtic captain. Both were booked. Alistair Johnston is flattened after a double challenge from Ryan Kent and Malik Tillman.
McGregor, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “There is no point in winning on Saturday, then going out in the next game and not winning. That would only undo all our good work.
“So, we have to follow up that good win with another one, and another one, and that’s how you become successful.
“That’s the beauty of this group because they’re always focused and they never want to take a step back and have a look at what they’ve achieved.
“They want to keep going and achieve more.”
Bring on Kilmarnock!