CALLUM MCGREGOR spent the 2013/14 season on loan at Notts County, looking to impress Parkhead bosses with very little chance of game time in Glasgow.
He had a fantastic season with the English club, featuring 41 times; the then 20-year-old scored fourteen goals and set up one goal for a teammate. Yet, despite his successful loan spell, Neil Lennon wasn’t keen on giving the player a chance when he arrived back at Parkhead.
There were suggestions that the young player would soon be on the move, but after Neil Lennon left, Ronny Dieila came through the door and saw something in the player. He gave Callum the chance in the first team and grabbed it with both hands.
Ever since he’s progressed into a fine footballer and is a top-player and Celtic captain.
Speaking to CeltsAreHere, Callum opened up on his return to Celtic and stated he focussed on himself and didn’t let the outside noise distract him. He told us;
“When I went on loan, my only focus was to make sure I made it back at the club. It was a challenge; the club laid down a challenge; go and get game time and experience first-team football.
“The squad here was really strong at the time. There was going to be very limited opportunity if any.
“I saw it as a challenge. I saw it as if I had to prove people wrong and prove that I could play at this club. That was my focus down there, to work hard and do the right things.
“At that time, I wasn’t too concerned about what anyone else was saying. I was coming back off a positive season on loan, and I felt I was ready to make the step into the first team squad, and that’s what I wanted to show. I wasn’t too concerned about what anyone else was saying.
“For me personally, I wanted to break into that first team squad.”
Ronny Deila Effect
Neil Lennon leaving at the end of that season was a game changer for Callum. Ronny Deila came in and instantly saw potential in the midfielder. He started to play more and make his way in the first team. It would be under Brendan Rodgers where McGregor would really excel.
Listen to the full press conference with Callum on our Spotify.