Celtic V Dundee at Celtic Park : Match Preview

16 December 2016
Celtic V Dundee - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Callum McGregor believes versatility improves chances of becoming Celtic regular

Callum McGregor views his versatility as a help rather than a hindrance as he battles for a place at Celtic.

Boss Brendan Rodgers has employed the 23-year-old in a number of positions this season including left-back.

McGregor, who came through the Hoops youth system, admits to having a preference for central midfield but is more concerned with getting game time.

The former Scotland Under-21 player came off the bench to score in the 4-3 win at Motherwell and also in the 4-1 win at Partick Thistle which earned him a start in Tuesday night's 1-0 win over Hamilton at Parkhead.

And ahead of the visit of Dundee in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday, he said: "It has been good to get my first couple of goals of the season and make an impact on the team.

"If you can play a few different positions obviously it helps you to get into the team and I would play anywhere to get a game.

"People have different opinions on it but ultimately, if you can play a few different positions when the team is getting picked I think it is a wee bit of a help.

"I would rather play central but you would play anywhere to get into the team."

Celtic are unbeaten domestically with 14 wins out of 15 in the league and the Betfred Cup in the trophy room after their Hampden Park final win over Aberdeen last month.

Asked if it was too early to think about going the whole season unbeaten, McGregor said: "I think so. Obviously it is in the back of your mind somewhere that is creeping up but the main focus for us is to zoom in on the next game and be as prepared as we can be for it.

"We take every game as it comes and we don't try to focus on how many games unbeaten or whatever, we just see the next game as an opportunity to go and do well and try to win."

Celtic dominated against a well-organised Accies side but had to settle for Leigh Griffiths' first-half goal to give them the narrow win.

Coach John Kennedy expects the Dens Park side to be another tough nut to crack.

He said: "Dundee have been playing a similar system to Hamilton so unless they change things it will be very similar.

"Hamilton were super-organised, very tight, very compact, difficult to break down and we had minimal chances and we got one of them.

"Dundee will be a very similar situation, where they will come with probably five at the back, pack out the midfield, have a lone striker and probably try hit us on break.

"But we can change things as well with one striker, two strikers, back three or back four, so we can change things around as we go."

Tom Hateley believes Celtic Park is the "perfect" place for Dundee to try to get their season back on track.

After wins over Hamilton and Motherwell ended a 10-game winless run, Dundee have slipped back with one victory in four and sit 10th, only two points better off than bottom side Partick Thistle having played a game more.

While recognising the task that awaits them in the east end of Glasgow, 27-year-old midfielder Hateley is looking for Dundee to prove the doubters wrong.

"I am looking forward to it," said Hateley.

"In the last couple of weeks we have been disappointing, our levels have dropped from where we managed to get ourselves to recently.

"So in my eyes there is nowhere better to go to try to start off this run of momentum again and get a good solid basis back into our game.

"But I am under no illusions. It is the most difficult place to go, especially at the moment, they are full of confidence and flying high at the top of the league.

"But we are going there with the mentality to get something from the game, it is never the case of making up the numbers.

"This is important for us to get back to where we were a few weeks ago and it is only us players who can change that and in my eyes it is the perfect place to go and prove a few people wrong.

"It can be good going into the game as the underdog and with that underdog mentality."

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