Callum McGregor: Celtic have a point to prove in final Champions League 

The Celtic captain says his side need to make a statement against Feyenoord.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor believes his side have a point to prove in their final Champions League group game against Feyenoord after a campaign that’s failed to deliver on its promise.

The Scottish champions go into the game knowing that regardless of the result, they will finish at the bottom of Group E while Atletico Madrid and Lazio march into the knockout rounds and Feyenoord take the consolation of a Europa League spot.

Celtic have only one point from their five games so far and feel they have been close to a better return, with a 95th minute goal consigning them to defeat against Lazio at Celtic Park and two goals in the last ten minutes giving the Italian side three points in Rome.

A determination to take something tangible from the Feyenoord clash, and a wish to bounce back positively from Sunday’s Premiership defeat to Kilmarnock, has McGregor fired up for Wednesday night.

“I think every game at Celtic is a big game,” the midfielder said. “Of course, in terms of the standings in the group we can’t jump above anyone and that’s disappointing in itself but every game is massive when you represent Celtic.

“Especially off the back of Sunday’s result when you’re looking for a reaction and a performance.

“We owe it to ourselves. In the group we’ve performed reasonably well without getting the points that we’ve wanted.

“We want to make a statement about what we can bring to the Champions League. It’s a big important game.”

The club captain feels crucial moments at both ends of the pitch have been costly in a competition where mistakes are punished and believes his teammates share the same wish to give a better account of themselves and leave a mark on the competition before bowing out for the season.

“I think everybody in the dressing room is hurting from Sunday and then you get to play in the Champions League for Celtic,” he said. “You don’t need any more motivation than that.

“We feel as though we’ve got a bit to prove as well in the way the group has played out. I think it’s been fairly even and a lot of the performances have been strong.

“We’ve had bad moments in games that have cost us.

“When I look at the players I see that they are ready to come here tomorrow night and put on a big performance and hopefully get that win that we want.”

While he aims to help Celtic to three points, McGregor said he was under no illusions about how good Feyenoord would be, having admired their performances so far.

“I think they’ve been really strong and from the performances that they have had they’re maybe unlucky not to be getting through the group,” he said. “They’ve got a really good style, really aggressive with good technical players.

“We try and treat everyone with respect. We’re at Champions League level and we know that every game is going to be tough.

“It’s maybe the one that we had looked at as ‘This is going to be the shoot-out game’ but we still want to approach it like that, like everything is on the line. When you play at this stadium you need to play as though it’s your last ever game for Celtic, and that’s what the fans and the club demand.

“I don’t have any doubt that tomorrow night we will be ready to show that aggressive style that we want to show.”

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