Celtic's Callum McGregor hopes he is getting closer to a Scotland call-up

Celtic's Callum McGregor and Brendan Rodgers celebrate
Callum McGregor is a mainstay of Brendan Rodgers' squad

Manager Brendan Rodgers has told Callum McGregor to keep producing good performances for Celtic and a Scotland call-up will eventually come.

In-form McGregor was not among the six Celtic players named in Gordon Strachan's latest squad.

Asked what advice he has received from Rodgers, McGregor told BBC Scotland: "He said just to keep going, keep playing well and hopefully it comes.

"It's Gordon's decision. He has a good squad of boys. He trusts them."

McGregor can understand Strachan's thinking at a crucial time during a World Cup campaign in which his side lie fourth in Group F.

"They're coming towards the end of the campaign and they need to win the next few games," he said.

"So, for him, he's picked a squad he thinks can do the job. It's up to me to try to force my way in."

Celtic's Callum McGregor (centre) is fouled against Astana
Callum McGregor (centre) was a marked man as Celtic lost to Astana

McGregor has earned praise for his eight appearances this season and has contributed two goals and two assists.

Asked if he thinks he is edging closer to an international call, he said: "Hopefully. I've put in good performances since the start of the season, a few goals, a few assists, so it's up to me to keep doing that.

"I've always said that I can only do my best for Celtic and then hopefully that international [call-up] will come."

McGregor was speaking after helping Celtic reach the Champions League group stage with an aggregate win over Astana, despite a 4-3 defeat in Kazakhstan.

"It feels great for the second season running," he said. "Couple of wee hairy moments, but we showed the character of the group to get the result and get through."

Meanwhile, Scott Brown, who captains both Celtic and Scotland, was full of praise for McGregor's contribution.

"He has been fantastic for us," he said. "Especially this season, he has started really well, scoring goals, creating chances and working hard.

"Callum will keep fighting and keep showing Gordon how good a player he is over the next couple of months and he will be fighting to get into the next squad."

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