CALLUM McGREGOR insists Celtic will have to pick themselves up after “two kicks in the teeth”.
The Hoops midfielder has seen the champions lose two important games in five days at Parkhead with AC Milan adding to their misery with a 3-1 win in the Europa League group H opener last night.
Neil Lennon’s men were trying to get back on track immediately after an unacceptable 2-0 loss to Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side at the weekend.
They failed against the Serie A pacesetters, but McGregor, who took over the captain’s armband when Scott Brown came off in the second-half, is adamant they will bounce back.
The Scotland international anchorman, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I don’t think we have played particularly bad. We’ve had two bad results in a row and, inevitably, we’ll get scrutiny and we have to deal with that.
“But now we have to kick on. We’ve had the two kicks in the teeth and now we have to really go and show everyone we are together and mean business again.
“You are entitled to be scrutinised when you lose games, especially at his club.
“The fans are so used to winning. When you lose, everyone says what has happened and looks for things that aren’t there. You can lose games. It’s part of football.
“The flip side is the players have been so good for so long that people don’t expect it.
“We have to take the scrutiny, but we are big enough and bold enough to go and set the record straight. That’s what we are trying to do.”
McGregor, who will be in his midfield berth again when the Hoops take on Aberdeen for the midday clash at Pittodrie on Sunday, added: “I think we have lost too many goals. That’s collectively. Whether it be change of shape or boys not running hard enough, that’s what we need to get back to.
“We have to come fighting, come back even harder, running harder, pressing better for the team and, hopefully, go on a run of clean sheets.
“The league’s very tight. It was tight last year leading up to Christmas.
“When the league is so tight, every dropped point is viewed as being up against it, but the games coming up we have to get maximum points whether it is Europa League or Premiership.
“We have to go on a run now.”