And the Australian jokes his desire for that to remain the case is the reason he doesn’t consistently lavish praise on a 28-year-old arguably the most influential performer in Scottish football. Postecolou departed from that approach in paying glowing tribute to “a real special individual” who “plays every game as if it was his debut” on McGregor taking his place among the club’s elite contributors through passing 400 appearances for the team he joined as a youngster. Yet, though pursued by his former Parkhead manager Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City in the summer that followed the Irishman’s February 2019 move to the Midlands, there have been no other known offers from leading English sides in the Scotland mainstay, a man who has become the crucial cog in Postecoglou’s set-up as they look to be closing in on a second successive championship courtesy of unassailable league form that has brought them 16 wins in a 17-game unbeaten run. It is a sequence that has sustained a nine-point lead at the top of the cinch Premiership.
“Yeah [the apparent lack of offers for Callum could be considered a surprise] and that’s probably why I don’t bump him up on a weekly basis,” said the Celtic manager, who believes all is not quite what it might appear on this front. “You know, I’m quite happy. But I think a lot of that is down to Callum himself. With a lot of these things, it’s often the players themselves who push their representatives to look for opportunities. I’m sure Cal will have had opportunities. In fact, I’m definite on that. But the fact is you don’t hear about it and that’s testament to his character. And also the people around him.
“Other players in his position would probably advertise the fact they’ve knocked back this club and that club and they’re not interested in going here or there. But that’s not who he is. That’s not his character so I wouldn’t take the fact that he doesn’t get talked about like there hasn’t been interest. I can guarantee there would have been from the highest level for Callum. But he’s really proud of the fact he represents this football club. He loves his role as captain and he really wants to leave a mark here. It’s a credit to him that he continues to do so.”
Postecoglou told the rest of his Celtic squad that they should feel privileged to share a dressing room with the team’s guiding force. One of those, winger Jota, says that is precisely his standing among his team-mates. “Callum is someone who is very important in our dressing room. He makes us feel welcome and helps us to perform in the best way we can in every game,” said the Portuguese wide man. A “perfect example” of a captain. “So, he’s definitely someone to look at and follow his example. We are just grateful that we have someone like him. It’s not just him though, we have a big group with good personalities, and we just try to help each other the best way we can. He reached out to me when I first joined, like he does with everyone. I think that sort of thing is something that a captain must do, and he is a perfect example of that. He just wants you to feel welcome and to help you perform in the best way you can.”