Callum McGregor says putting own stamp on Celtic captaincy was key to success

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Callum McGregor has been impressed by the way his new teammates have lived up to the demands put on them as Celtic players.
Callum McGregor has been impressed by the way his new teammates have lived up to the demands put on them as Celtic players.

WHEN Callum McGregor was named Celtic captain by Ange Postecoglou last summer, he knew that he had big boots to fill. But he was also savvy enough to know that he was never going to be able to lead the club by attempting to be Scott Brown.

He has taken on board many lessons from his great friend, of course, but McGregor was always confident that he could put his own stamp on the Celtic captaincy, and take the rest of the players with him by imparting his own personality upon the role.

It is an approach that certainly appears to have paid off, with the 29-year-old lifting two trophies in his first season as Celtic skipper, and he believes that he was able to help bring that success to the club by being a steadying influence during a time of much upheaval.

“Over the last few years I’ve been watching Scott Brown closely and I was vice-captain for a few games, so making the transition in the summer, I was fairly confident I could do the job,” McGregor told the Celtic View.

“It was about me putting my personality into the role, but you need good players and people with you to make you a success and that’s why we’ve done as well as a group.

“The uncertainty surrounding the whole situation at the club in the summer naturally put people on edge. People wanted to know where their future was and fans were desperate to know what was happening at the club.

“When the manager was appointed there was a sense of excitement, but we were still recruiting players in the pre-season and we had younger guys with us.

“When there’s a lot of change, you look to the consistent ones that understand the club and the expectation and when you’re bringing players in then they need to feel that because not many places are like Celtic with the demands we set.”

With so many new players coming into the dressing room, McGregor made a point of ensuring that he was their first contact, and that they would each instantly know about the expectations that were now on them as Celtic players.

It is credit to each of them, in his view, that they have taken the responsibility of representing the club on board, and have managed to rise to the standards he has demanded of them.

“We had different cultures and personalities all coming to the club and the big thing was to speak to them about respect,” he said.

“As long as we had a base level of respect then relationships would grow from there and the players have been so respondent of that in the way they’ve conducted themselves and the bond we’ve created.

“I’ve been hugely impressed with the characters we’ve recruited and the personality of the players has been very much of that mould.

“We set the standards and I think that’s the reason we have been so successful because we keep pushing the mentality of the group.”

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