CELTIC’S saviour skipper Callum McGregor admitted the players “were really annoyed” with their lacklustre display against St Mirren in the 2-2 deadlock at Parkhead.
The champions trailed 2-1 at the interval to efforts from Curtis Main that should have been prevented and had to rely on a blistering right-foot strike from Kyogo Furuhashi, his 51st for the club, to get them on the scoreboard.
With nine minutes to go and the Hoops staring an inexplicable second defeat of the campaign to the Paisley outfit, McGregor worked an opening on the edge of the box before curling an exquisite left-foot shot low past the frantically diving Trevor Carson to his right.
ROARING SUCCESS…Callum McGregor has his say.
It was a gem of a strike in the midst of the rubble of a performance from the hosts that failed to replicate the vim and vigour normally associated with Ange Postecoglou’s men.
McGregor said: “We were really annoyed with that first-half. We were so far off the pace.
“We lost two really poor goals and we gave ourselves a mountain to climb after three minutes. We got back on terms, but then we gave away another poor goal.
“The second-half was a lot more like us, so that was good in that sense and we managed to get a point.
“We can’t start games like that and give ourselves work to do.
“We need to learn quickly from that and we have three really important games to go and we need to be at it now.”
McGregor, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “You think when we get the equaliser, we can go and get the winner – we had a couple of good chances, but we didn’t put them away.
“We gave ourselves so much work to do when you have to chase the game like that.
FANFARE…Callum McGregor is aiming to lift a treble at Hampden early next month.
“It becomes frantic at that point and you get a bit more uptight and tense in the final third and you maybe lose a little bit of quality.
“We need to go on and get back to show the team that we are.
“The good thing is that you have another game in three days and it gives you a chance to try and rectify the previous result.”
Celtic take on Hibs at Easter Road on Wednesday before the last hurrah in the Premiership three days later when Aberdeen are in town for Flag Day, the club’s eleventh such occasion in 12 years.
With the crown safely back in the Parkhead trophy cabinet, McGregor and his team-mates can focus on the Scottish Cup Final against Inverness Caley Thistle at Hampden a week on Saturday.
There can be no hiccups against the Highlands with the treble within sight and the glorious finale to another memorable crusade.