Celtic captain Callum McGregor called his side’s 3-0 loss to Rangers at Ibrox last weekend a “slap round the face.”
No Shrugging Off Glasgow Derby Defeat For Celtic
The derby match was, technically, a dead rubber, in that the Hoops had already clinched the Premiership title the week before, at Hearts. However, there’s really no such thing as a dead rubber in the Glasgow derby.
Celtic supporters never like it when their side lose to Rangers, and vice versa.
“In professional sport, if you don’t take defeats or bad performances badly, then I don’t think you are in the right sport,” McGregor told the media this week. “It always has to hurt you, no matter how much success you have had, or how well you have been going. Once you get a slap round the face, you have to show a reaction.”
The good news, for Hoops supporters anyway, is that the squad have had the proper response in training this week, at least according to the skipper. They’ll still need to prove that at Celtic Park on Saturday when they take on the only other Premiership side to beat them this term—St. Mirren.
Interestingly, again despite the dead rubber nature of the fixture, folks around ’Gers have spoken about their comprehensive victory over their bitter rivals as a sign the club have turned the corner under manager Michael Beale.
Incoming Ibrox CEO James Bisgrove told the media this week that he aims to make the Govan club the “dominant [one] in Scotland” by 2025. That may not be soon enough for Rangers supporters, who demand domestic dominance annually, not just in the future. That’s two years, which is a long time in Scottish football.
Celtic’s McGregor, meanwhile, indirectly described Bisgrove’s assertion as “noise.”
“We’ve got a very clear strategy for the football club through to 2025 in terms of what we want to achieve across the club,” the new CEO, who officially takes over in July, told Rangers TV. “[Beale] has already spoken about the summer being a transformative one for the squad and he’s also presented a clear body of work which has taken place across a number of months.”
That transformation, by the way, will be spearheaded by chief scout John Park, who once served in a similar role at Celtic.
“There will be some announcements made in due time,” Bisgrove added. That time is drawing nigh, from a supporters’ perspective. Because, until then, such promises may indeed be just “noise.”