McGregor: Good character earned Celtic positive result against Rangers

The Celtic captain said it was important not to lose the crunch match at Ibrox.

Callum McGregor believes Celtic showed their character to earn a point against Rangers in a derby where he said his side were not at their best.

Celtic took an early lead at Ibrox, with Daizen Maeda scoring in the fifth minute, but Rangers scored twice in quick succession early in the second half when Ryan Kent and then James Tavernier found the net.

It looked like Rangers were on course for three points when Kyogo Furuhashi equalised just minutes from full-time.

The 2-2 draw meant Celtic maintained their nine-point lead at the top of the table and McGregor felt that keeping that distance between them and their closest rivals in the league was always the main demand from the derby.

“It keeps us where we were coming into the game and we obviously know the significance of that,” he said.

“Coming into the game, we wanted a result to come away with.

“Ideally we wanted to win, but don’t lose. I think that’s important in football as well that when you aren’t playing well, you don’t lose.

“I think that’s always vital, so credit to the lads as well. For any football team, when they don’t play well, to not get beat is a positive.

“Especially when you go there, the crowd get involved, they make it difficult, so of course it’s a good result if you don’t lose.”

Reflecting on the late goal that earned the draw, the Celtic skipper believes it shows the team’s mentality in a positive light.

He said: “I think in the end it was good character again from the group to keep going, even though things were against us.

“In terms of performance levels we weren’t quite at the races, but it’s important when things are going against you, you show mental strength.

“We get the one chance and Kyogo does really well to finish, so it was positive in the end considering the performance.”

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