Celtic's Callum McGregor praised after return from conviction

Celtic's Callum McGregor celebrates against Partick Thistle
Callum McGregor scored Celtic's second goal against Partick Thistle

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has praised Callum McGregor for the midfielder's goalscoring form following a drink-drive conviction.

The 22-year-old was left out for five matches by the Norwegian after he was caught at almost four times the legal alcohol limit in February.

But McGregor has scored twice in two games on his return to the side.

"He has been very good is the last two or three months and he had a break for other circumstances," said Deila.

"But I think he is showing a lot of confidence on the pitch and he played very well, and scored again, which is important."

McGregor, who received a 12-month driving ban and a £500 fine, scored in the Scottish Cup win over Greenock Morton then in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premiership to take his tally to six for the season.

"Callum has worked really hard and he has been fantastic at training a long time," said Deila.

Callum McGregor fires past Partick Thistle goalkeeper Tomas Cerny
Callum McGregor fired past Partick Thistle goalkeeper Tomas Cerny

"He has always done extra things and he got his reward for that today and the other times he has played."

McGregor, who spent the 2013-14 season with Notts County, has played 25 times this term.

However, despite a previous call-up in August 2014, he was not one of the emerging players to be named in Scotland coach Gordon Strachan's squads for forthcoming friendlies against Czech Republic and Denmark.

"Youngsters have to build themselves over time," added Deila. "Before I came here, he was out on loan, he had was very good start when I came at first and he has come back into it again.

"Normally, that is what talent does. It is not normal to be at your best when you are 18 years old.

"It is when you are 22 and 23. That is the average age to break through in the team and he is a good age now he has a long future in front of him."

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