Celtic's Callum McGregor hasn't heard from Gordon Strachan

Celtic's Callum McGregor admits he has not heard from Gordon Strachan since his Scotland snub - but he is not giving up hope of playing a part in their World Cup push.

Celtic's Callum McGregor at the Topps Match Attax 2017/2018 launch. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS
Celtic's Callum McGregor at the Topps Match Attax 2017/2018 launch. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS

The on-form midfielder was overlooked by the national team coach for this month’s qualifiers with Lithuania and Malta.

His absence, though, did not slow down the Scots as a team dominated by McGregor’s Parkhead colleagues fired themselves back into contention for a play-off spot with back-to-back wins.

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While disappointed to miss out this time, McGregor, who has netted in three of his club’s four Ladbrokes Premiership fixtures so far this term, reckons he is now up to cap standard.

And he hopes he can use his club’s Champions League ties with Paris St Germain and Anderlecht to make his case for inclusion ahead of next month’s make-or-break double-header with Slovakia and Slovenia.

McGregor, whose one and only call-up came back in August 2014, said: “I watched the two games. It was two good performances and two good wins, so the boys have put themselves right back in contention.

“Does that make me hungrier to break into the squad? Yeah of course. I’ve always wanted to be a part of it.

“Obviously for me there is some big games coming up at Celtic and the Champions League is getting under way so I just want to do well for Celtic and try to catch the eye.

“Those games can be a platform for me to show exactly what I can do.

“I haven’t had any conversations [with Strachan].

“I’m trying not to look too far ahead. I’m focusing on my Celtic stuff and trying to do well for the club. If Gordon feels like I’m not ready yet then I will keep playing and trying to do well.

“But I do feel I’m ready for the international stage. I’ve got a lot of big club games under my belt now. I’ve played Champions League, Europa League and a lot of big cup games as well so I feel I could handle this next step.”

While Strachan continues to have his doubts over McGregor, the 24-year-old was delighted to see Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers give him his full backing.

Rodgers admitted he was “surprised” to see his player left out, adding: “I don’t know what else he can do.”

McGregor says that vote of confidence can help him carry on his impressive start to the campaign.

“It’s great to hear that from the manager. He sees it every day and it’s great to work with him,” he added. “He’s come out a few times publicly and spoken well about me.

“That’s great for me to hear that. It’s a great confidence booster to take into these big games.

“It’s all about knowing your manager trusts you to do a job and again that gives me confidence to do well.”

:: McGregor was speaking at the Topps SPFL Match Attax 2017/18 trading card event.