Callum McGregor urges Celtic to stay focused


Celtic captain Callum McGregor has admitted they had to overcome their naivety in Europe after suffering a 3-1 home defeat to Bodo/Glimt.

The Hoops conceded early in both halves of the first leg of the Europa Conference League knockout play-off.

Celtic Park erupted in noise when Daizen Maeda headed a 79th-minute lifeline, but the stadium was half-emptied two minutes later when the home side conceded a deflected effort from 25 yards out.

Celtic were involved in end-to-end encounters in the Europa League group stage with their six games scoring 28 goals, but they never really came through in their attacking game against the Norwegian champions despite having possession sufficient.

McGregor told BT Sport: “It’s always difficult when you have a goal behind so early in the game and then you have a mountain to climb in that direction, but I always thought we had enough in the game.

“We created enough situations around the box, just that last bit of quality was probably missing.

“You see, even when we get the goal you think we get the upper hand but we concede straight away and it kills us again.

“If the game ends 2-1, we have a very good chance. It’s the naivety that we still have at this level to be a new group.

“So we have to learn from that, we’ll do the analysis and learn that you always have to light up. As soon as you score, that’s probably when you’re most vulnerable.

McGregor added: “We got into some good situations and the final pass or the actions weren’t quite there in terms of the quality we’ve been used to over the last two weeks.

“Again it shows we have a lot to learn when it comes to those big games. We need to step up and in that last moment that matters they scored three goals because of their quality.

“But for me there are enough things in the game that suggest we can go out there and turn it around, so we have to stay positive, stay calm and try to turn it around.”

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