Why Henrik Larsson's advice could be key for Callum McGregor and Celtic's title pursuit

Stilian Petrov believes the calming influence of Callum McGregor is central to Celtic’s title success in the remaining fixtures this season.

The Bulgarian midfielder had a re-assuring team-mate who had been over the course alongside him during his early Celtic career and remembers his anxiety-easing advice at a key stage of the season.

With the finish line in sight this term, the league leaders are aiming to restore their six-point advantage against Ross County this afternoon after Rangers closed the gap with a win over Motherwell yesterday.

Petrov believes club captain McGregor is key in keeping Celtic on course with cool-heads in the dressing room, just as Parkhead goal-scoring legend Henrik Larsson did with him.

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Speaking on Sky Sports ahead of kick-off in Dingwall, Petrov said: “It’s really difficult [being the team at the top being chased]. I’ve lost a league by a goal and by one point as well and it’s very painful but it’s about using your strengths.

“I remember playing away in a decider and one of the best, Henrik Larsson, said he could see I was nervous before the game and I said ‘I’m petrified’ - I had never been in that position.

“He said ‘Don’t worry about it - use your strengths’. That’s what I did, it calmed me a little bit and that’s why Callum McGregor will play a big part today.

“He has to calm the team and make sure they do the right things. If Celtic do the right things they won’t have a problem.”

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Callum McGregor's experience and calming influence can help Celtic says Stilian Petrov (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Celtic's Henrik Larsson with Stilian Petrov (right) during a 6-0 win over Kilmarnock in 2001. (Picture: SNS Group Jeff Holmes)
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