CALLUM McGREGOR has insisted Celtic will not be bullied as they aim for a domestic clean sweep in Brendan Rodgers’ debut season as manager.
The midfielder is convinced the Hoops will be ready physically as well as mentally to meet the challenges they will encounter in what could emerge as a glorious campaign.
Rodgers’ side overcame the rugged presence of Inverness Caley Thistle in the 3-0 triumph at Parkhead on Saturday. Scott Brown and Mikael Lustig limped off, Greg Tansey was red-carded after flattening McGregor to pick up his second booking and the Highlanders’ Liam Polworth left the ground on crutches.
The playmaker, who set up the breakthrough goal for Scott Sinclair, said: “We can handle ourselves. A prime example was up at Aberdeen where it was a bit of a battle and we won 1-0.

“So, it’s not just the wins by four, five, six – we can do the ugly side of the game, as well, such as standing up to a team like Inverness who come to our place and are physical. We need to deal with that kind of thing.

“All teams raise their game at Celtic Park and we have to be at our top level every week, to stand up to these challenges and we showed that on Saturday.

“Once we got the goal it opened up and we could have scored four or five.”

McGregor also paid tribute to boss Rodgers for keeping faith in him after his nightmarish last-gasp miss against Borussia Monchengladbach in the 1-1 Champions League draw in Germany just under a week ago.

The 23-year-old said: “It’s been hard for me. When you get in that position you try to finish – it didn’t happen – and then after that you hear people talking about it and you have to try to put it to the back of your mind.

“It was unfortunate, one of those things. It didn’t go in and, hopefully, next time I will score when in that position.

“I got through and the angle I was at, I could see the keeper had made himself look big, but there was a wee area to aim for, and I tried to put it in the bottom corner. If I was in that position again I would do the same.

“It wasn’t a case of not knowing what to do, more that I dragged it a bit.

“I know everyone was disappointed but no more than me. All I can do is take it in my stride and bounce back.

“It did fire me up for Saturday. It isn’t nice to have people speaking negatively about you, so you have to use it and take that into the next game.

“Hopefully, I put in a good performance for the team on Saturday.”

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