McGregor: 'Externally we were written off but Celtic is a special club'

Celtic sealed their third Premiership title in a row by beating Kilmarnock 5-0 at Rugby Park.

Callum McGregor says Celtic may have been “written off externally” but that the club showed resilience to win the Premiership title.

Brendan Rodgers’ men sealed their third league trophy in a row with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Kilmarnock that saw goals from Adam Idah, Daizen Maeda, James Forrest and a Matt O’Riley brace.

The Hoops only needed a point to secure the title in Ayrshire on Wednesday night to put any slight hope of an unlikely Rangers comeback to bed.

The champions were met with a large crowd on their return to Celtic Park, with manager Rodgers keeping his promise to supporters from the start of the season that he would “see you back here in May”.

Captain McGregor believes the reception outside Parkhead epitomised the appreciation of Celtic fans after the trophy win.

He told STV News: “This is amazing. This club is special. When you win for this club, you look at the appreciation.

“Everybody is at work tomorrow, and they are out in their numbers to celebrate another league title.

“So it’s amazing, for the players who haven’t experienced it before, to see the size of the club and what you can achieve when you have success here.

“So, an amazing night. I hope the supporters enjoy it and I hope the players enjoy it as well.”

Rodgers' men sealed a third successive title at Rugby Park. SNS Group

Asked about Rodgers branding the title win “the sweetest, but the hardest”, McGregor added: “Yeah, for sure it’s up there.

“Difficult moments throughout the season, externally a lot of people writing us off.

“We had to show resilience, we had to show togetherness. And we knew once we got up to speed, and got going, then we had a really good squad and a really strong team.

“So, it’s about just been able to prove that and I think we’ve done that in the big games, so far.

“We’ve managed to get over the line, but of course we know there’s one more to go.

“Obviously the game on Saturday we’ll enjoy that.

“But we then have the cup final and we want to finish strong as well.”

Forrest, who is now the club’s joint-second most decorated player, joining Billy McNeill on 23 major honours, said the squad are relishing the win.

He told STV News: “Oh, it’s incredible. I think, don’t take anything for granted.

“You just see the turnout tonight, all the boys on the bus were buzzing when they seen all the fans here.

“No, it’s incredible and all the boys deserve it.

“It’s been a different experience this season, and no, honestly, it’s unbelievable.

“I think every time that you win a cup or a league, you need to enjoy it, and hopefully the fans will do that tonight.”

On his inclusion in recent weeks after months on the side lines, he added: “Oh, I felt good up until December and then January, February I wasn’t in the squad.

“To be honest, I think it was a lot of boys that I was training with weren’t in the squad, the matchday squad, they kept me going.

“I think it shows you, it’s not just about me, it’s about the team, and the players who don’t play as well. And I think everyone deserves this tonight.

“As you said, I think the last couple of months we’ve really turned up in big games and obviously we’ll look forward to Saturday and then we’ve got a week to prepare for the cup final.

“We’ll obviously try and do our best and obviously get the double.”

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