Stiliyan Petrov reveals best Celtic captain he played under at Parkhead and how current skipper Callum McGregor shares similar qualities

The Bulgarian insists McGregor draws similarities to Jackie McNamara

When Callum McGregor took over the captain’s armband from Scott Brown during the summer, Celtic supporters will have wondered what type of leadership qualities he would bring to the role.

The midfielder is an entirely different character and personality to the boisterous Brown who left to take up a player/coach position at Aberdeen.

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McGregor has often displayed an ability to remain calm under pressure, which is a quality that Hoops legend Stiliyan Petrov believes draws similarities to the best skipper he played alongside during his Celtic career.

The Bulgarian, who won the Scottish Premiership on four occasions as well as three Scottish Cups and three League Cup titles during his eight-year stay, claims McGregor mirrors former Hoops captain Jackie McNamara.

Speaking to The Celtic Way, Petrov said: “Paul Lambert was very demanding as a captain. Neil Lennon was the same and made it clear on the pitch what he expected.

“Tom Boyd was different to that again but the best captain I played under in my career was Jackie McNamara.

“He didn’t have that about him. he wasn’t one for shouting and pointing but in actual fact I think took the role more seriously than anyone from an outside perspective would have realised.

“He was a caring guy. He knew his team-mates so well. Because of that he knew when things were off or when someone needed an arm around the shoulder.

“He could speak quietly to people and knew how to make them feel better. Not a lot of people see that side of things.

“I found him very relaxed which makes people around you relaxed but that is not to be confused with not expecting high standards. He just had a different way of trying to get that point across.

“He was never a guy that complained, Jackie. He was never on people’s back. He led by example, played wherever he was asked and gave his all for the team and players respected that about him.

“I think it is the same with Callum. You see his versatility and also he has a humility about him too.

“He is prepared to do what I takes for the good of the team and I think that sets a really positive example to everyone else.

“You know that he can see the team is bigger than anything else.”

Petrov is a big admirer of the way current Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou wants his team to play and remains confident that once the Aussie has a fully fit squad at his disposal then belief will return to the side.

He added: “I like watching them. It is a team who are in transition, but I like how they are trying to play football. I like the manager and how he talks about the game and his philosophy.

“I think coming out of a tough game like Aberdeen will all three points will have helped to foster some confidence within the team.

“There are still areas that need work and some of the goals conceded are too cheap but it will help when there is a fully fit squad available.

“It will bring the manager options to change things and bring in some more experience with the likes of Christopher Jullien and James Forrest.”