McGregor says Celtic still to find 'ruthless streak' in title pursuit

The Celtic captain hailed the 'mentality' of the club's summer recruits after securing a second straight win to start the season.

Callum McGregor believes Celtic can become “even more ruthless” in their pursuit of a third straight Premiership title once the club’s summer signings have had time to bed in after overcoming a tricky away trip to Aberdeen.

Matt O’Riley sealed a second win to start the league campaign late on at Pittodrie following a frantic opening half an hour that saw the visitors take the lead twice through Liel Abada and Kyogo Furuhashi either side of Bojan Miovski’s leveller for the hosts.

The Celtic captain admitted Brendan Rodgers’ side had to dig deep to secure the three points against Barry Robson’s men after their third place finish last term, likening the victory to the win under former boss Ange Postecoglu two years ago that propelled the class of 2021/22 to the league crown.

McGregor insisted the side are now focused on setting the pace in the early part of the season, adding they are taking confidence from every win.

“At the start of every season, you start with nothing, so to come here and win is a big result to tick off,” he said.

“As you go on, the football does get slicker and there were still some really good moments in that game, but we could have come out of here 5-1 with the chances that we had.

“It is just about being ruthless in those moments, but that will come with time and games throughout the season.”

Defender Maik Nawrocki was the only one of Celtic’s summer recruits to start in the north east, though Odin Thiago Holm and Yang Hyun-jun both appeared from the bench.

Australian winger Marco Tilio is yet to receive his chance to impress due to injury, while Korean midfielder Kwon Hyeok-kyu is also still to make his debut, but McGregor has been impressed by what he has seen from his quintet of new teammates so far.

“I thought Rocky was outstanding in the game and the other boys coming on were fantastic as well,” he said.

“They are coming on with 25 minutes to go and they have to be part of the team and part of the group. They have to show their personalities, their mentalities and I thought it was excellent from the three of them.

“Being a Celtic player, everyone is trying to beat you, so you have to have that siege mentality.

“So to see that two games into the season is outstanding, but that’s something that will progress and get better during the season.”

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