Football/Soccer

Callum McGregor keeping things in perspective after Celtic's defeat in Old Firm

Callum McGregor had a goal ruled out for being offside during last Sautrday's Old Firm derby at Ibrox Picture by PA
Padraig O Meiscill

CELTIC midfielder Callum McGregor is maintaining a sense of perspective as the Bhoys head into 2019 off the back of last Saturday's Old Firm defeat to Rangers at Ibrox.

Celtic were uncharacteristically poor at the weekend, as a Ryan Jack goal gave Steven Gerrard his first taste of victory in a Glasgow derby and moved Rangers level on points with their fierce rivals at the top of the Scottish Premiership. However, having already lifted this season's League Cup, Celtic head into the new year still top of the SPL table on goal difference, with a game-in-hand, and are through to the last-32 of the Uefa Europa League, where they will meet Valencia in February.

Although Scotland international McGregor expressed disappointment with the result of the Old Firm clash, he remained confident the Scottish champions will regroup during the winter break and come back stronger when the league resumes on Wednesday, January 23.

“We're still top of the league with a game-in-hand and we're still in a decent position,” said McGregor.

“As long as we go away and work hard in the winter break and come back with that freshness in the team again, we'll be looking to win our game in-hand and have a good second half to the season.”

McGregor echoed the sentiments of Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers after last Saturday's game and described it as a learning curve for a group of players who'd previously gone 12 Glasgow derbies without defeat.

The 25-year-old added: “It's always tough coming here and, in the last few years, we've done well. We anticipated a tough game and, credit to Rangers, they came after us and unsettled us.

“It's a feeling a lot of the lads haven't felt before and we need to remember that feeling, galvanise the squad and go again and work on things to make sure we're picking up points away from home in the next part of the season.”

Rangers, meanwhile, will have to wait until Thursday before discovering if Alfredo Morelos has any disciplinary charges to answer from that eagerly awaited win at Ibrox.

The 22-year-old Colombia striker appeared to kick out at Hoops skipper Scott Brown, stand on defender Anthony Ralston and flick out his hand at midfielder Ryan Christie's groin area during the 1-0 victory, which gave the 'Gers real hope of challenging for their first SPL crown since they were forced into administration.

The Scottish Football Association's compliance officer Clare Whyte is awaiting referee John Beaton's report before deciding whether to take any action. Morelos has picked up 13 yellow cards and three reds this season, albeit one against Aberdeen earlier in the season was rescinded.

The former HJK Helsinki player only recently returned from a two-game domestic suspension after he was sent off in the 1-0 defeat to the Dons at Ibrox on December 5.

Due to the winter break, Steven Gerrard's side next play away to Cowdenbeath in the William Hill Scottish Cup on January 18.

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