CALLUM McGREGOR has urged for unity at Celtic and for everyone to rally round the flag as the champions attempt to get their tenth successive title quest back on track.
The Scotland international midfielder will again lead the Hoops against Livingston at Parkhead this afternoon as they begin chipping away at the 21-point advantage held by Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit.
The Hoops will have three games in hand after this weekend’s round of matches with the Govan outfit facing Motherwell at Fir Park tomorrow.
McGregor will be skipper while Scott Brown, one of 13 players ordered to self-isolate after Christopher Jullien’s positive coronavirus test after the ill-fated Dubai trip, will watch the action on TV at home.
With manager Neil Lennon and his No.2 John Kennedy also in quarantine, it will be another patched-up side chosen by Gavin Strachan, who will be in charge for a second time after Monday’s 1-1 draw with Hibs, and the likes of Kristoffer Ajer, Ryan Christie, Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths and Mohamed Elyounoussi will also be sidelined.
However, there is still fighting talk from the anchorman who told the Daily Record: “You can’t stop believing. We have the games in hand which could narrow the points difference, so you can’t just look at the table and throw in the towel.
“It’s only January. We know it’s a difficult task and we have to win all of our games. You’d be hard pushed to see a lead like this overturned, but we have to hope.
“The biggest thing is winning the games in hand and we have two massive games against them and we’ll see where the land lies after that.
“You’ve heard it a million times in football, things can change very quickly. We have to keep up the intensity and the mindset that it could happen.”
McGregor admitted he understood the frustration and disappointment around the club at present, but said: “The message is about sticking together as a club – as players, supporters.
“It’s pretty obvious that if you have everyone working with each other and going in the same direction it will carry you a lot further.
“In that sense, we need that one direction and one message from the top of the club right down. The supporters are a massive driving force for what we try to do as a club.
“When we go out on the pitch, we try to have success for them. So it’s important that we stick together, try to turn around and that everyone keeps the faith.”
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Livingston at Parkhead this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.