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McGREGOR HAILS HOOPS’ ‘MASSIVE’ INFLUENCE

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CALLUM McGREGOR insists Odsonne Edouard is a “massive player” for Celtic who can conjure goals out of nothing.

However, the French Under-21 international striker is an injury doubt for Sunday’s Betfred League Cup Final against Rangers at Hampden after sitting out the last three games.

Edouard has been sidelined for the 3-1 Europa League Group E victory over Rennes and the Premiership games against Ross County (4-1) and Hamilton Accies (2-1) with makeshift striker Lewis Morgan leading the attack.

McGregor, speaking to the Daily Record, admitted: “Obviously, we know how good Odsonne is. He’s scored in so many big games, Finals, European games – he is our main man.

“He’s our talisman and we wouldn’t swap him for anyone.

“Odsonne likes to come short 
and link. He can score from 
outside the box and do something overly-special. He just seems to have that knack of coming up with a special goal.”

SILVERWARE SMILE…Callum McGregor with the Scottish Cup in May after Odsonne Edouard had scored the two goals that downed Hearts.

Scott Brown’s midfield anchorman partner added: “Your striker, nine times out of 10, is your main man. He’s your go-to man for the goals and Odsonne has been incredible in terms of the amount of big goals he’s scored for us. There have been moments in games where we’ve maybe been struggling and he’s come up with a goal out of nothing.

“There’s no doubt he’s a massive player for us.

“We’re going to need him right throughout the season and not just for the Cup Final. I think it’s imperative we try to keep him as fit as possible.”

McGregor, 26, admitted the champions are not taking any notice of outside influences as they attempt to lift their TENTH successive domestic honour at the national stadium at the weekend.

The Scotland international added: “It’s important we focus on it as another Cup Final. We’ve been in quite a few in the last few years.

“We don’t listen to any outside noise. We’re totally focused on what the manager wants us to do.

“The group of players in there knows exactly what it takes to win trophies.”

It was Edouard, of course, who scored the goals that brought the Scottish Cup back to Parkhead on May 25 after Ryan Edwards had shot Hearts into the lead. The French ace levelled with a penalty-kick and netted the winner when he latched onto a Mikael Lustog header to finish in fine style.

 

 

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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