Callum McGregor urges Celtic team mates to use semi-final defeat as added motivation to clinch Premiership title

The Hoops skipper felt they didn’t do enough to book a spot in next month’s Scottish Cup final

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Celtic captain Callum McGregor says the team must bounce back from the Hampden defeat to Rangers in the next match at Ross County. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Callum McGregor believes Celtic will use their Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers as added fuel to their fire in the club’s quest to reclaim the Premiership title.

The Hoops had their Treble dream crushed by Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side at Hampden Park after Greg Taylor’s deflected strike was cancelled out by goals from Scott Arfield and Carl Starfelt’s own goal in extra-time.

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While accepting they didn’t do enough to book a return trip to the national stadium on May 21, McGregor has challenged his Celtic team mates to put everything into their final five league games.

The Celtic players huddle at full time after the 2-1 defeat to Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The Parkhead skipper retains full faith that they will display the necessary character to get back on track and finish their campaign with a flourish by lifting silverware.

He admitted: “We’ve got a big finish to the end of the season. This is one of the few times we’ve had a bit of a slap in the face, so it’s important we react in the right way.

“That’s all we can do now. It’s gone. You can analyse the game or whatever, but the face is it doesn’t come back.

“We’ll tak about it, but ultimately, we’re looking at the end of the season and we want to make it successful.

“These are tough games, semi-finals going all the way against a good side. So you have to be disappointed, of course you do.

“I didn’t think we did enough in the game to win it and we have to accept that.

“We’re in a good position (in the league) and it’s important we knuckle down over the next couple of days and go again to try and make it a successful season.

“We have to go to Ross County and get three points and start to tick them off now. The only thing guaranteed in football is disappointment.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou on the Hampden touchline during the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“You have to take it on the chin and shoe people you’re made of strong stuff.”

Manager Ange Postecoglou agreed with his captain’s assessment as the Australian called for his players to use their Hampden heartache as motivation to secure the Premiership trophy.

He stated: “We have had to be resilient all year and this is another challenge for us. We are disappointed we didn’t get to another final, we are disappointed for our fans.

“It was an opportunity which we didn’t take, but we now have five games to concentrate on winning the league, starting next week.”