'Good for him' : McGregor laughs off Cantwell’s ‘will to win’ claim

The Rangers midfielder says he wants to win 'probably a little bit more' than the Celtic captain.

‘Good for him’: Callum McGregor laughs off Todd Cantwell’s ‘will to win’ claim SNS Group

Callum McGregor refused to be drawn into a war of words with Todd Cantwell after the Rangers star claimed his desire for success outweighed that of the Celtic captain.

The Scotland midfielder, who has won 20 major honours during his time with the Hoops, laughed off the comments after being asked about them on Friday.

Glasgow’s big two meet in the east-end of the city on Saturday with the league leaders looking to take a massive step towards their third Premiership title in a row.

McGregor was given a blunt injury prognosis in March when an Achilles problem flared up. Having played in every game for club and country in 2023, he was facing an extended lay-off in one of the most important phases of his career.

But with Celtic facing a major title challenge from Rangers and the Euro 2024 finals looming, the 30-year-old made a quicker than expected return to the team in time for the 3-3 draw at Ibrox five weeks ago.

He then started the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen and managed to play 89 minutes of last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Hearts.

This Saturday’s visit of their city-rivals gives him the opportunity to show how far he has come as he gets set for another tussle with Cantwell and co.

The pair were involved in an altercation at Ibrox when the Rangers midfielder pushed the Celtic skipper after the full-time whistle and later claimed: “I want to win just as much as he does – probably a little bit more.”

McGregor smiled when told of that statement and added: “If that’s his opinion, then good for him.”

Just how much McGregor wants to win is evident from his reaction to his injury news.

“We went to see the specialist and they gave us a pretty long timeframe to be honest,” he said.

“With where we were in the season, we had a chat as a group and there was just no way that you were going to sit out and watch the whole thing unfold. I would rather be in there and fighting with the lads.

“So we tried to be aggressive as we could, in a safe way of course, and there was definitely a will and intention to be as involved as possible.”

When asked how he had speeded up the process of recovery, McGregor said: “Just determination.”

Celtic reduced the strength work McGregor was doing ahead of the Hearts game and the midfielder appeared to get about the pitch more effectively.

“I am starting to feel much better,” he said.

“There’s always a little period after you are injured where you have got to suffer a little bit, trying to catch up with the rest of the group. You do a bit extra in the gym and get the legs strong again and sometimes that can have a lingering effect.

“But I am starting to feel like I am in a good place and the last couple of weeks’ training have been really positive.”

While McGregor had no desire to talk about Cantwell, he will have no qualms about doing what is necessary to come out on top in Saturday’s game as his side bid to build on their three-point lead.

“The game is emotional,” McGregor said. “You want to be emotional when you play in the game because I think you have to find something different to try and get your team on the line.

“Whatever the game throws at you, you have to deal with it, you have to find a solution.

“Sometimes they are messy, sometimes it’s good football that wins it for you, and you have to find the right cocktail to try and win the game.”

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