Callum McGregor says playing at Rosenborg like a home game for Celtic

Callum McGregor believes Trondheim has become a home from home for Celtic and has no fears of travel sickness undermining their Europa League campaign this week.

The Scottish champions travel to Norway to face Rosenborg for the third time in 18 months when their penultimate Group B fixture takes place at the Lerkendal Stadium on Thursday.

Celtic have kept clean sheets on both of those previous visits, a 1-0 win in August 2017 and then a goalless draw at the start of this season in Champions League qualifiers.

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Victory this week would keep Brendan Rodgers’ side in contention for a place in the last 32 of the Europa League. While Celtic have been well beaten away from home in the group against both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig, midfielder McGregor is confident their poor record on the road in Europe will not be factor on Thursday.

Callum McGregor says Celtic are in a 'positive' mood ahead of the Europa League tie against Rosenborg. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNSCallum McGregor says Celtic are in a 'positive' mood ahead of the Europa League tie against Rosenborg. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS
Callum McGregor says Celtic are in a 'positive' mood ahead of the Europa League tie against Rosenborg. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS

“I think we can draw on what we did in our previous games against them out in Norway,” said McGregor. “Under the manager we have managed to get positive results out there so far and if we continue to play the way we have been playing, there’s no reason we can’t go out and get another good result this time.

“Rosenborg can no longer qualify so if you look at it that way they might not have much to play for, but we can’t think like that. We just have to go with a positive mindset and try to keep our hopes alive.

“It’s beginning to feel like a home game over there in Trondheim! It’s a place we know well and know what to expect. Sometimes you go to these big stadiums in Europe, you maybe don’t know what to expect and you are up against it. But I think the results we have had over there it shows it’s a stadium where we feel comfortable and know we can perform in. We’ll be looking to play well there again.”

While Celtic will be focused on trying to claim all three points in Norway, they will anxiously await the outcome of the other match in Group B between Salzburg and Leipzig in Austria.

But McGregor insists they cannot afford to concern themselves with talk of a possible “carve-up” between the two clubs owned by energy drink giants Red Bull. “It’s a tricky one with the two Red Bull teams,” he added. “We can’t do anything about their game. It’s up to the players at those clubs.

“All we can do is try to keep it in our own hands. It will be interesting to see what 
happens, but if we take six points out of six from our last two games, we could be through anyway. That’s got to be the focus for us going to Rosenborg.”

Celtic are in buoyant mood after their impressive display in beating Leipzig 2-1 at Parkhead in their last Europa League outing, a night which McGregor feels underlined their potential to make a 
credible impact in continental competition.

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“The Leipzig game was right up there with my best European nights in terms of the result and the performance,” he said.

“It was massive for us. We’ve played well in certain games but it was nice to also get the result. We wanted to show we could compete with the best.

“You’ve got to ride your luck at times against these sides and we did that when Kevin Kampl hit the bar for Leipzig late on. But we played some decent stuff and managed to dig in when we had to.

“It’s huge for the guys like myself, Kieran Tierney and James Forrest, who have come through the ranks at Celtic.

“We’ve watched the big European nights in the past at Celtic Park so to go and give the fans another one like last time out was great to be part of.

“The Leipzig result gave us a huge amount of confidence. They are a top side. They’ve spent a lot of money and you could see the quality.

“It’s a real mark of the team at the moment. We are playing very positive stuff and creating a lot of chances.

“We always said it would be important to win our home games. We knew we had difficult away ties in Austria and Germany and that turned out to be the case. But we are probably where I expected us to be at the moment in terms of the group. If we can go to Rosenborg and get a positive result we will be right in the mix.”