McGregor says Celtic cannot afford any slips

Callum McGregor believes Celtic have to “put the foot to the floor” until the respite of the January break as he prepares for the trip to Hibernian on Sunday

The Hoops are in the midst of a nine-game December having started the month off by winning the Betfred Cup final against Aberdeen at Hampden Park and since then they have regained top spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Brendan Rodgers’ side won through to the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday night – despite a 2-1 defeat  at home by Salzburg – and have five more Ladbrokes Premiership matches before the end of the year.

McGregor insists the Parkhead squad need to plough on through a relentless fixture list until the winter break

The 25-year-old Scotland midfielder said: “The fixtures have been pretty gruelling and the boys have been playing games every couple of days at high intensity.

“Another positive is we went through on Thursday night. We have to pick ourselves again and Easter Road is a tough place to go.

“We have had tough games against them as well there so we need to be fully ready for that.

“We need to recover and be flying for Sunday.

“November and December are a big couple of months in the fixtures and if you get through them and come out the other side well you are in a pretty good place.

“We have the cup in the bag, we have five games left so we have to put the foot to the floor and  get as many points as we can.”

Celtic fell to Zenit St Petersburg in the last 32 of the Europa League last season.

McGregor looked forward to Monday’s draw but knows whoever the Hoops get paired with will be a “proper” team.

“It is going to be tough,” he said. “We dropped out of the Champions League last year and got Zenit, who are still a big team.

“So we know the teams we come up against are proper teams.

“We have to be focused and certainly play better than we did on Thursday night.

“But we have to fancy our chances whoever the draw gives us.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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