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Callum McGregor: 'Celtic need to sort defensive problems'

Callum McGregor: 'Celtic need to sort defensive problems'
© Reuters
Celtic conceded twice in their victory over Livingston.

Callum McGregor stressed the need for Celtic to tighten up ahead of their Europa League qualifier against Riga following their 3-2 win over Livingston.

The Hoops had to come from behind to beat St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership in midweek and again on Saturday they lost the first goal – to a Jason Holt penalty.

Hoops midfielder McGregor levelled with a drive and further goals from Ryan Christie and Albian Ajeti had Neil Lennon's side comfortably ahead and in control of the match until Julien Serrano pulled a goal back for Livi in the 78th minute.

That ensured a nervy finish in which Livingston's debutant substitute Carlo Pignatiello missed a late chance for the visitors.

If Celtic triumph against Riga in Latvia they will play FK Sarajevo or Buducnost Podgorica away in the play-off and McGregor is looking for a clean sheet to help them progress.

He told CelticTV: "We probably made it more difficult than what it should have been.

"At the start of the second half we look good, we look comfortable, get the third goal and then you probably fancy us to see it out 3-1 or 4-1 but I think that's something that we have to really work on, in terms of conceding goals.

"We're conceding too many goals as a team, shots from the edge of the box and things like that which is not really us

"We have to work on that, we'll need to look at it and make sure going forward that we don't concede as many goals.

"We know what we need to do on Thursday.

"We look at this (Livingston) game, we have to learn from it quickly in terms of conceding goals.

"We go over there and put everything into the game and we are looking to get into that play-off spot so everyone's looking forward to it."

The Scotland international was pleased to get his first goal of the season from a deflected drive from the edge of the box.

He said: "I thought the boys reacted really well actually to the penalty.

"We got going and the ball fell to me and I just took a touch and hit it and sometimes they get a little nick when they go in which is fine, I will happily take that one."

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Livingston manager Gary Holt pictured in August 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers1210202832532
2Celtic1182128101826
3Hibernian127321710724
4Aberdeen117221711623
5Kilmarnock114251513214
6Dundee UnitedDundee Utd12345816-813
7Ross County12336720-1312
8Motherwell103251113-211
9Livingston123271320-711
10St Johnstone12327916-711
11St Mirren10217615-97
12Hamilton AcademicalHamilton112181325-127

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