CAPTAIN MARVEL Callum McGregor insists Celtic will not dwell on achievements in the past with the return of Brendan Rodgers.
The charismatic Irish boss, of course, led the Hoops to seven successive domestic honours following his arrival as Ronny Deila’s successor in the summer of 2016.
In Rodgers’ first season in charge, the team pulverised all Scottish opposition as they stormed through a breathtaking and unbeaten crusade to earn the nickname The Invincibles.
However, in McGregor’s thoughts that was then and this is now.
DIDN’T WE DO WELL…Brendan Rodgers congratulates Callum McGregor after Celtic’s dramatic 4-3 comeback win at Fir Park in December 2016.
Looking at the quickfire return of Rodgers, the champions’ onfield leader, who celebrated his thirtieth birthday last week, said: “Obviously, the guys at the top of the club have been working really hard and relentlessly to make this happen.
“It’s great that we’ve managed to get him back and it’s obviously a really positive step for the club, it’s a real statement of intent.
“The guys who were here the last time really enjoyed working with him and it was a really successful period.
“But just in terms of him coming back in, it’s important that we draw that line and it’s now about what we can achieve together moving forward for this new group, as well.
“You have a successful season last year, but the message is can we go again, can we improve, can we get even better.
THUMB’S UP…Brendan Rodgers displays his confidence before his first Celtic trophy success – the 3-0 League Cup Final win over Aberdeen at Hampden in November 2016.
“I think everybody should be hugely excited. Again, a new season brings new challenges, there will always be something new for the players and the group, and the supporters to handle that challenge.
“So it’s important that we embrace that together. We always speak about how important the supporters are and the journey with the team and the club, so we have a really exciting season, it’s now about being together.
“We look forward to the challenges ahead – domestic honours to try and retain and, hopefully, a really exciting Champions League campaign.”
McGregor, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “Brendan’s a top-level manager, his preparation and detail towards every single game, every single training session, every moment that he’s in the building he’s constantly thinking about football and how to make the club better, how to make the team better.
“On top of that, how to make the individual within the team better and he’s had a brilliant track record with that everywhere he’s been.
“So, the boys are really excited to work with him on a close level along with the guys who are still here at the club.
“They are really important coaches and I believe that’ll be a really good coaching team together and, like I said, it now about getting to work and trying to achieve what we can as a group.”
THAT’S MY BHOY…Brendan Rodgers and Callum McGregor celebrate another success.
McGregor is also delighted the highly-rated John Kennedy will remain as assistant gaffer, along with first-team coaches Stevie Woods, Gavin Strachan and Harry Kewell, and B Team coaches Stephen McManus and Darren O’Dea.
The midfield anchorman added: “Continuity was the key message. Obviously, the previous manager did a fantastic job, but he was also helped by the excellent staff that we had in building and they work really well together.
“So, we wish Ange all the best in terms of he did a fantastic job for us and we wish him well, but I think the message within the group is trying to keep as much continuity as we could, because we know we’ve got a great group of staff who work tirelessly every day to make sure the club is in a good place.
“Coupled with the return of Brendan as manager, these are really exciting times for the players, the club and the supporters.”