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Celtic won't risk 10-in-a-row joy by letting focus slip, insists McGregor

 

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No distractions: Callum McGregor wants to do it one game at a time

No distractions: Callum McGregor wants to do it one game at a time

History quest: Neil Lennon will aim to rack up a perfect 10 for Celtic

History quest: Neil Lennon will aim to rack up a perfect 10 for Celtic

No distractions: Callum McGregor wants to do it one game at a time

Callum McGregor insists Celtic have to "block out all the noise" on their quest for a record-breaking 10th successive Scottish Premiership title.

The Hoops were declared champions for the ninth time in a row in March when football was stopped due to the coronavirus and it is a record they share with Old Firm rivals Rangers, albeit the Parkhead club have done it twice and achieved it first.

The Scottish government gave the green light for the top flight to start on August 1, with Celtic hosting Hamilton in their opener the following day, and from that weekend the focus will be on whether or not Neil Lennon's side can create more history.

Glaswegian McGregor (27) knows the spotlight Celtic and Rangers will be under once again, but said: "We are back in as a group and understand the challenge that is ahead of us.

"But the reason why we have been so successful in the past is because of the way we work, we take one game at a time, we don't look too far ahead and the success has been built on that.

"We have to block out all the noise coming from everywhere else and just look at the next game.

"The boys have been pretty relaxed so far and I think you can start to get carried away with all the chat that goes on outside the camp. The only people that can make this happen for us is the guys inside the building and we have to stay focused.

"We understand what is at stake but once you start looking too far ahead that is when things can quite quickly fall apart.

"So for us it is the same message. We have to stay calm, relaxed, we know how hard we have to work in training and preparation for the games, and come match day we have to perform every week to get the points."

Celtic announced a number of matches against French opposition as they gear up for next season.

The Scottish champions will take part in the Veolia Trophy at the Groupama Stadium in Lyon, playing Nice on Thursday, July 16 and Lyon on Saturday, July 18.

Then, on Tuesday, July 21, Celtic head to the French capital to take on Paris Saint-Germain in the Parc des Princes.

Scotland midfielder McGregor played 50 of the 53 Hoops games last season, as well as six for Scotland, and is taking the positives from the enforced break.

He said: "I think that it has probably worked quite well that the break has been there but you haven't missed football as such.

"I am just desperate to get back playing, as are the boys."

Belfast Telegraph