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Strachan names the one injury that Rodgers will be dreading

Gordon Strachan believes that there is one injury that Brendan Rodgers must be dreading more than any other.

Since taking charge of Celtic last summer the Irishman has had multiple injuries to content with, in pre-season Cameron Carter-Vickers and Alistair Johnston missed out on the preparations in Portugal and the two friendly matches in Japan.

When the season got underway Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and Stephen Welsh all suffered medium term injuries over a nine day period that devastated the options in central defence.

That blow resulted in bringing in Nat Phillips on loan but when those injuries cleared up Phillips returned to Liverpool in January.

Injuries have been a constant challenge to Rodgers but speaking to Lord Ping, Strachan named the one injury that would seriously threaten the balance and flow of the Celtic side:

I think that Celtic can handle the absences of every single player apart from one man: Callum McGregor. He is irreplaceable. If he got injured, I would be worried. If I was a Celtic fan, I wouldn’t worry about what Brendan is saying to the media, I’d be worried about keeping McGregor fit for the remainder of the season.  

If I was the Celtic manager, I would take home Callum McGregor home every night after training and sit him down next to me. I’d keep him fed, watered, and wrapped in cotton wool. I’d tuck him into bed at night because he is such an important figure for Celtic Football Club. 

As a fellow midfielder Strachan will have a special appreciation for McGregor who recently made his 450th Celtic appearance to go alongside 58 full caps for Scotland.

At St Mirren on Sunday his value to Celtic was once again underlined. Taking the ball out of defence in the 15th minute he released a brilliant pass down the left wing to Luis Palma who then set up Kyogo Furuhashi for the breakthrough goal.

Whenever a team is struggling questions are usually posed about the role of the captain but since taking on the armband from Scott Brown McGregor hasn’t been found wanting.

Since becoming a regular during Rodgers’ first season at the club the Scotland midfielder has only suffered one injury, a knee issue last season that ruled him out for two months. Typically he he scored a late winning goal away to Aberdeen on his return as full points were collected in the first match following the World Cup break.

With Alistair Johnston, Carter-Vickers and Greg Taylor missing from the defence against St Mirren there was more need that ever for the cover and know how of the captain to see Celtic through a testing first half where the home side scented weakness in the cup holders.

Celtic only have one midweek fixture before the split fixtures are announced. With McGregor leading the side Rodgers has a degree of stability that will only be boosted when Carter-Vickers, Taylor and Reo Hatate are back in the Starting XI alongside their captain.

CLICK HERE for Rodgers vows that critics won’t bring him down.

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